By this time next month, FTX could have a new owner.
And among the three bidders for the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange is a company headed by Tom Farley, former president of the New York Stock Exchange, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday (Nov. 8).
Farley’s Bullish — itself another crypto exchange — is one of the bidders looking to buy FTX, along with FinTech startup Figure Technologies and crypto venture-capital firm Proof Group, the report said, citing sources familiar with the matter.
A winner could be chosen in December, the report said, and could restart FTX when it comes out of bankruptcy next year. The three parties were narrowed down from 70 who had expressed interest in resurrecting FTX.
The WSJ notes that Bullish and Figure’s interest in FTX had not been reported before. Proof’s involvement was reported Monday.
FTX sought bankruptcy protection in November of last year, setting off a chain of events that led to the arrest and prosecution of founder and former CEO Sam-Bankman Fried.
Soon after, news broke that the company owed its top 50 creditors over $3 billion, with Bankman-Fried’s successor as CEO said he had never seen a company so poorly run and that the exchange’s recordkeeping had been “near zero.”
Following the bankruptcy, federal authorities began investigating FTX, Bankman-Fried and its handling of its customers’ funds, and its use of those funds to prop up its sister company, Alameda Research.
U.S. investigators also expanded their scope to include members of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle, with some of those company officials later pleading guilty and testifying against their former boss.
Bankman-Fried was charged with eight counts of conspiracy and wire fraud (later reduced to seven counts) by the Department of Justice. In August, he was indicted again for allegedly using stolen customer funds to make more than $100 million in political campaign contributions.
Bankman-Fried defended his innocence throughout the criminal trial, and ultimately took the stand in his own defense, which did nothing to save him. A jury last week convicted him on all counts.
He faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in prison if given the full time for all counts for his leading role in carrying out one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.