The crypto community continues to be bombarded with rumors and conspiracy entering into the fifth day of FTX's fall.
From reports that Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was arrested on the tarmac at the Bahamas airport to rumors that employees of the exchange are trying to sell the company’s assets, it has been very difficult for the community to separate fact from fiction.
PAULY.SOL, the founder of the nonfungible token (NFT) project Not Larva Labs was one of the first to spur rumors of SBF’s arrest. The NFT founder retweeted a post of a Flightradar24 map that reported a private jet to have been grounded for around 40-minutes while on the way to Miami from Nassau — the capital of Bahamas where FTX is headquartered.
Many community members replied to the thread with pictures of SBF edited into police arrests, highlighting the possibility of the private jet transporting the FTX CEO. Despite this, there has been no confirmation that this is indeed SBF.
Meanwhile, a report citing anonymous sources mentioned that employees of the collapsing exchange are working to try and sell the company's assets while their CEO is away. The assets reportedly include the stock-clearing platform Embed and naming rights to the FTX arena in Miami.
Apart from these, a post on social media claimed that many FTX employees have invested their life savings in the company because of their confidence in SBF. However, the employees now fear that their funds have been sent to Alameda Research. In addition, a report citing anonymous sources has also claimed that SBF has been selling equity at a 50% discount to the exchange’s employees back in the spring.
While the rumors continue to spur panic within the crypto market, a lot of the information coming out of social media and various reports are unconfirmed information from anonymous sources.
Meanwhile, an official media release from the Securities Commission of The Bahamas (SCB) highlighted that the government agency has frozen the assets of FTX. According to the SCB, it will preserve the company’s assets and stabilize the company by putting it into provisional liquidation, a mechanism put into action in case of corporate insolvency.
Additional reporting by Brayden Lindrea
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX has lost at least one potential rescuer as it battles to fill a reported multi-billion dollar hole in its balance sheet.
The chief technology officer of stablecoin issuer Tether, Paolo Ardoino, on Nov. 10 confirmed the company does not have “any plans to invest or lend money to FTX/Alameda.”
Ardoino’s comments came after a Nov. 10 report from Reuters suggested that FTX is now at a $9.4 billion shortfall, with FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried reaching out to multiple companies seeking cash to keep the exchange afloat.
According to the report, Tether, crypto exchange OKX and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital are some of the companies Bankman-Fried has approached for funds, reportedly asking for $1 billion or more from each of the firms.
Tether’s chief technology officer response appears in line with the sentiment from a Nov. 9 blog post from Tether which assured the community it has no exposure to Alameda or FTX.
The stablecoin issuer has also been reported to have frozen 46,360,701 Tether owned by FTX in its Tron blockchain wallet on Nov. 10 to comply with law enforcement.
It is not currently understood whether OKX or Sequoia Capital is considering support for the embattled exchange.
However, Lennix Lai, director of financial markets at OKX, previously told Reuters on Nov. 9 that Bankman-Fried asked for up to $4 billion from the exchange to help cover FTX liquidity issues, though didn’t confirm if the company would assist FTX.
Meanwhile, on Nov. 10, Sequoia zeroed out its nearly $214 million worth of investments into FTX marking them as a complete loss saying FTX’s liquidity issues “created a solvency risk” but added it wouldn’t have a large impact on the company.
Crypto exchange Kraken was also reportedly approached by FTX according to two unnamed sources as reported by Axios on Nov. 10 but it was not said if any deal was reached by the two parties.
Cointelegraph contacted OKX, Kraken, Sequoia Capital and FTX for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
So far, FTX appears to only be able to continue limited withdrawals through a deal with the Tron blockchain allowing its assets to be swapped 1:1 with external wallets. The agreement caused Tron-based tokens to trade at a premium of up to 1200% on the platform as users rushed to find an exit from the exchange.
In light of the FTX liquidity crisis and the near-acquisition by Binance, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao assured his community that his network would provide full transparency on asset holdings.
On Nov. 10, Binance published a new page titled “Proof of Assets” on which all details are available of its on-chain activity for its hot and cold wallet addresses. This comes only two days after the initial tweet from CZ on Nov. 8 in which he pledged to create a proof-of-reserve mechanism to ensure “full transparency” to the community.
Binance released an official statement on the new page in which it says it’s the next step in its “commitment to transparency and fostering trust in the ecosystem,” but also that it is only a starting point.
The final goal is to create a Merkle Tree proof of funds, which will be shared with the community in the following weeks, according to the exchange.
“Our objective is to allow users of our platform to be aware and make informed decisions that are aligned with their financial goals."
The announcement also included a snapshot of hot and cold wallet addresses from Nov. 10, 2022 at approximately 12:00 am UTC.
In the meantime, here is a snapshot of our hot and cold wallet addresses taken on November 10, 2022 at 12:00am UTC.
Networks included: BTC, ETH, BSC, BNB, TRX.#BTC - 475K BTC $ETH - 4.8M ETH$USDT - 17.6B USDT#BUSD - 21.7B BUSD$USDC - 601M USDC#BNB - 58M BNB — Binance (@binance) November 10, 2022
Additionally, the announcement reiterated that the company’s Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU) has been topped at $1 billion. The initial statement came in a tweet from CZ on Nov. 9 and was said to be done “in light of recent price fluctuations.”
Users on social media responded to the publicized numbers, with Reddit users worrying about not seeing Monero listed on the new Proof of Assets page but still being available for purchase through the exchange.
Many users across platforms including Twitter and Reddit have said it’s a good start but that reliability tests will be needed.
As the market fumbles in response to the FTX–Binance incident, other crypto platforms have voiced their support of proof-of-reserve mechanisms for their own communities.
In a tweet on Nov. 10, Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek said he believes that it should be necessary for crypto platforms to publicly share their proof of reserves. Moreover, Marszalek said the platform will soon be publishing its audited proof of reserves.
Additionally, both OKX and KuCoin released statements on Twitter in which the platforms also committed to publicizing proof of reserves in the coming months.
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