New FTX CEO Hints on Plans to Restart the Exchange
- Bankman-Fried and the new FTX CEO have disagreed over the company’s bankruptcy.
- Bankman-Fried believes he could have turned the company around if given the time.
The new FTX CEO, John Ray III, is exploring the possibility of restarting the bankrupt exchange as he tries to help the platform’s customers access their funds. While speaking at his first official interview as the new FTX chief, Ray noted that he has launched a task group to look into reviving FTX.com, the company’s primary foreign exchange. Interestingly, while some key FTX executives have been charged with criminal activity, Ray claimed that several FTX clients have lauded the company’s technology and suggested that a reboot may be worthwhile.
According to reports, Ray’s plans to restart the cryptocurrency exchange are part of an effort to compensate users. On January 17, FTX announced that its investigations had turned up around $5.5 billion in liquid assets, with more than $3 billion owed to its top 50 creditors. Ray claimed that he took into account feedback from several stakeholders who thought the exchange was a “viable business.”
“We are making important progress in our efforts to maximize recoveries, and it has taken a Herculean investigative effort from our team to uncover this preliminary information. We ask our stakeholders to understand that this information is still preliminary and subject to change. We will provide additional information as soon as we are able to do so,” Ray said about the recent discoveries.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, and Ray have had disagreements about the exchange’s stance and whether or not it ought to have filed for bankruptcy. In a recent Substack newsletter, Bankman-Fried expressed his remorse at having to file for bankruptcy on behalf of FTX and claimed that if he had not been “forced,” the business would have been able to pay back all of its clients.
Bankman-Fried noted that,
there were numerous potential funding offers — including signed LOIs post chapter 11 filing totaling over $4b. I believe that, had FTX International been given a few weeks, it could likely have utilized its illiquid assets and equity to raise enough financing to make customers substantially whole.
Although Bankman-Fried has maintained an active presence online and continues to share his thoughts about FTX, Ray said that Bankman-Fried does not represent FTX and has “no ongoing role at FTX.” Ray has previously slammed the level of internal controls he met at FTX when he took over in November. During a meeting of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee in mid-December, Ray said that the risk management systems at FTX had “virtually no internal controls.”