FTX Lawyer: No Plan for Reboot, Creditors to Receive “Full Refund”

FTX bankruptcy proceedings shroud its future in mystery, with a commitment to repay users but ruling out a reboot.
ftx bankruptcy

Digital asset enthusiasts and former FTX users are eagerly awaiting news about the embattled exchange’s future. Recent court hearings shed light on FTX bankruptcy proceedings and its commitment to repaying customers, while ruling out any hopes of a reboot.

FTX Faces Uphill Battle in Bankruptcy Court

In late 2022, FTX, once a prominent digital asset exchange led by CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, filed for bankruptcy, sending shockwaves through the community. Fast forward to the present, and the exchange is navigating a complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan, with various challenges and uncertainties.

Andy Dietderich, the legal representative from Sullivan and Cromwell, who handles matters for FTX, mentioned:

“Based on our results to date and current projections, we anticipate filing a disclosure statement in February describing how customers and general unsecured creditors allowed claims will eventually be paid in full […] I would like the court and stakeholders to understand this is not a guarantee, but as an objective. There is still a great amount of work and risk between us and that result, but we believe the objective is within reach and we have a strategy to achieve it.”

He emphasized that the mentioned goal is not a guarantee but an objective. He acknowledged the considerable work and risks involved but expressed confidence that the objective is attainable, citing a devised strategy to achieve it.

Repayment Assurances Amidst Market Turmoil

In the recent court hearing, FTX’s legal team conveyed its dedication to fully repaying customers affected by the exchange’s collapse. However, this commitment comes with a caveat – the repayment is contingent on the market conditions at the time of FTX’s actual bankruptcy. This decision, approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey, has sparked debate among claimants, particularly those whose assets’ value significantly declined during the tumultuous period leading to the petition date.

Kris Hansen, the attorney representing the FTX Creditor Committee, expressed:

“Many of those claims are premised upon currencies which declined dramatically in value in that tumultuous period leading up to the petition date.”

FTX’s Struggle to Find a Buyer for Reboot

Despite the initial optimism surrounding a potential revival of the exchange (FTX 2.0), Dietderich revealed in court that there’s no viable plan for a reboot. The absence of interested buyers and a lack of commitment from investors to infuse the necessary capital have dashed hopes of FTX making a comeback.

Dietderich said:

“[There is] a related disappointment is FTX 2.0. We still have valuable customer data and information to monetize […] But after an exhaustive effort, no investor is ready to commit the needed capital to a restart of the offshore exchange, nor has a buyer emerged for that exchange as a going concern.”

He highlighted the impracticality of reviving FTX exchange from its current state, citing high costs and risks. Additionally, Dietderich clarified that the Chapter 11 plan doesn’t anticipate any recoveries from restarting ftx.com.

The Costs and Risks of FTX 2.0

Dietderich expressed the challenges faced in finding buyers for FTX and its associated businesses, acquired for substantial amounts. Notably, the acquisition of derivatives platform LedgerX proved to be a “horrible investment,” selling for a fraction of its original purchase price. It was the only arm of FTX that claimed to be solvent after the FTX downfall.

The costs and risks associated with resurrecting FTX, coupled with its questionable financial practices under former CEO Bankman-Fried, have deterred potential investors.

FTX’s Pledge to Repay, Despite Setbacks

In the face of disappointments, FTX remains steadfast in its commitment to repay former customers and unsecured creditors in full. Dietderich stated during the hearing that the exchange anticipates filing a disclosure statement in February, outlining the strategy for repaying claims. However, he emphasized that this is an objective, not a guarantee, acknowledging the challenges and risks involved in achieving this goal.

Dietderich said:

“We currently anticipate that we will have sufficient funds to pay all allowed customer and creditor claims in full.”

Customer Skepticism Amidst Market Fluctuations

The repayment, based on petition date values, might not be a straightforward win for all claimants, especially those whose assets experienced significant declines in value before the bankruptcy. The discrepancy between the petition date values and the current market conditions leaves some customers and creditors skeptical about the true extent of the repayment.

Dietderich stated in that regard:

“That payment in full is based on the petition date values of those claims. Many of those claims are premised upon currencies, which declined dramatically in value in that tumultuous period leading up to the petition date. [Clients and lenders] won’t feel like that’s true payment in full from where they started. But we recognize that the petition date is the date that needs to be used.”

Nevertheless, Judge Dorsey approved this plan, stating:

“Based on the evidence presented and the argument provided in the papers and the hearing, I find that estimation is appropriate and the debtors’ methodology for estimating the claims is fair and reasonable.”

FTX’s Future – No Reboot, but Open to Options

With the plan ruling out a reboot, FTX CEO John J. Ray III highlighted that the estate is open to exploring various options. While there is no current expectation of recoveries from a restarted ftx.com, the company remains open to inquiries from potential buyers or interested parties.

He had previously mentioned that the company had initiated the solicitation of interested parties for a possible relaunch of the FTX.com exchange.

Market Response to FTX Bankruptcy

As news of FTX’s repayment plans and the lack of a reboot circulated, the market witnessed fluctuations in FTX Token (FTT) prices. Initially, FTT experienced a surge of more than 12%, only to decline by 19% later in the day, reflecting the uncertainty surrounding FTX’s future.

FTX’s journey through bankruptcy court has been fraught with challenges, and its commitment to repaying customers appears to be a glimmer of hope amidst the uncertainties. The digital asset community will be closely watching as FTX navigates its way through the complex landscape of bankruptcy, with the potential for further developments in the coming months.

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