by Angus Berwick and Tom Westbrook
Nov 10 (Reuters) – Crypto asset exchange FTX attempted to raise around $9.4 billion (€9.3 billion) from investors and rivals on Thursday. customers threatening its survival after Binance’s abandonment of the acquisition project.
FTX chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried said in a note to employees that it is in talks with “a number of players” in the crypto asset industry, including Justin Sun, the creator of the Tron token.
But he added that he “didn’t want to say anything about the likelihood of success” of his approach and again said he was “sorry” about the situation the company is in.
He explained that his financial analysis company, Alameda Research, which several sources say is partly at the root of FTX’s problems, was winding down its activities.
Several sources told Reuters that FTX transferred about $4 billion to Alameda from customer deposits to bail it out after a series of heavy losses.
The serious difficulties of FTX, which had become one of the world’s largest crypto asset exchanges, caused another crisis of confidence in the “crypto” sector, resulting in a pullback in price. bitcoin BTC = BTSP below $16,000, lowest since late 2020.
However, Bitcoin gained ground again on Thursday, benefiting from the general uptick in risk taking in the markets following better-than-expected inflation data in the United States.
The FTT FTT=CCCL , the token created by FTX, recovered on its side by more than 130%, but still showed a drop of more than 80% compared to its price last week.
In a post on Twitter, Justin Sun said “we’re building a solution with FTX to find a way out,” with no further details. At Reuters’ request, Justin Sun did not respond.
A spokesperson for FTX declined to comment.
According to news site Axios, FTX has also approached the Kraken exchange.
AMERICAN AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATIONS
A notice published on the FTX site informs visitors that the platform no longer allows withdrawals or openings.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Sam Bankman-Fried told company shareholders that Alameda Research owed about $10 billion to FTX; the paper adds that FTX has loaned about half of its clients’ deposits to Alameda.
According to a source familiar with the investigations, US financial authorities have opened an investigation into FTX’s handling of client deposits and crypto asset lending.
FTX clients began massive withdrawals last week after a news article surfaced highlighting questions about the strength of Alameda’s balance sheet.
These withdrawals led Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, one of the most famous figures in the industry, to announce on Twitter that his company would divest all of its FTTs from FTX, compounding the liquidity crisis.
After announcing its intention to acquire FTX, Binance on Wednesday decided to abandon its plan, justifying it through a thorough account review, the release of new information on customer deposit management and the opening of the investigation by the US authorities.
Several shareholders of FTX have already written off their holdings significantly or even completely, such as the venture capital fund Sequoia.
Other shareholders of FTX include Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and investment funds Tiger Global and Softbank.
(Report Angus Berwick and Anirban Sen in New York, Georgina Lee in Hong Kong, Tom Westbrook in Singapore, Elizabeth Howcroft in London and Hannah Lang in Washington, French version Marc Angrand)