Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

Gov’t assists with international investigations into FTX

The government says it is willing and able to work with international investigators as the probe into the collapse of FTX continues

FTX headquartered in the Bahamas and incorporated in Antigua by key principle disintegrated practically overnight after it was unable to meet a run on deposits that left the company with an $8 billion hole in its accounts. Within a week, the crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy.

Traders have lost billions of dollars that they stored on the platform, which served as a marketplace for crypto enthusiasts to buy and sell tokens.

Companies with ties to FTX have also found themselves on shaky financial footing. On Monday, the crypto lending firm BlockFi filed for bankruptcy, blaming its links to FTX.

But Information Minister Melford Nicholas confirmed Thursday that Cabinet met with the Solicitor General, the Deputy Solicitor General, a Crown Counsel, Head of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) Wednesday to discuss issues surrounding FTX.

He told reporters at the Cabinets press conference that FTX is incorporated in Antigua and Barbuda but it was not granted a license to operate.

 “Following vigorous discussions with the lawyers, the Attorney General and the FSRC Officials, the Cabinet concluded that no liability attaches to the State of Antigua and Barbuda,” Nicholas said

Nicholas added the FTX collapse is a learning experience for regulatory agencies globally.

“The government has remained transparent and open in this particular matter. We want to assure all our residents and citizens that there is no need to have any fear or feel embarrassed or ashamed. These things happen in new industries and it’s an opportunity for all of the respective regulatory agencies to learn from the experience and close any doors or improve any regulatory oversight for any future business like this that may be established,” Nicholas said.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, made his first public appearance on Wednesday since his business empire imploded this month, insisting that he “did not ever try to commit fraud” and repeatedly saying he didn’t know the extent of what was going on within his crypto businesses.

In a live interview at The New York Times’s DealBook conference in Manhattan, Bankman-Fried blamed “huge management failures” and sloppy accounting for the collapse of his $32 billion company, which has sparked civil and criminal investigations.

Those investigations focus on whether FTX broke the law by lending its customers’ funds to a trading firm, Alameda Research, which Mr. Bankman-Fried owned.

Speaking via a video feed from the Bahamas, where FTX was based, the 30-year-old said he didn’t “knowingly commingle funds.” At another point, he said, “I didn’t know exactly what was going on.”

Mr. Bankman-Fried also took responsibility for the collapse. “Look, I screwed up,” he said. “I was C.E.O.”


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