The Bahamian government has reportedly taken custody of 3.5 billion in FTX cryptocurrency. According to the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, $3.5 billion worth of cryptocurrencies was confiscated from the defunct FTX crypto exchange.
Thursday night, the regulator issued a press statement confirming the amount seized from FTX Digital Markets, the Bahamian company, and saying the money had been transferred to its digital wallets “for protection.”
A portion of FTX’s digital assets is currently held by the regulator, who has previously verified this but did not disclose the exact amount.
Commission estimates place the worth of the transferred funds at more than $3.5 billion based on market conditions at the time. On November 12, one day after FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States, the assets were transferred.
The Bahamian securities commission is holding the monies on a “temporary basis” until the commission is ordered by the Supreme Court of the Bahamas to distribute them to customers, creditors, or liquidators of the insolvency estate.
According to the regulator, the monies were confiscated after it received information from FTX’s disgraced co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, about intrusions on the systems of FTX’s Bahamian branch.
Assets in FTX Digital Markets’ hands were at “high risk of immediate dissipation,” it warned.
After FTX declared bankruptcy, the company’s cryptocurrency wallets were emptied of $477 million in a suspected cyberattack. Currently, the perpetrator’s identity is a mystery.
Legal procedures and an investigation into the involvement of the Bahamian regulator following the FTX collapse have been the subject of intense scrutiny.
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For FTX’s insolvency, the commission preferred to deal with matters in the Bahamas. However, the U.S. legal team for FTX filed papers on November 17 challenging the action, claiming that the regulator had worked with Bankman-Fried to get “unauthorized access” to FTX systems to shift digital assets into its custody.
The Bahamian regulator responded by calling the allegations “inaccurate” and claiming the transfer of funds was made to safeguard customers and investors.
Former FTX CEO and current defendant Bankman-Fried, age 30, was arrested in the Bahamas and extradited to the United States, where he faces allegations of fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and violation of campaign finance regulations.
Recently released on a $250 million bond, he has entertained guests at his parents’ California house. Among them is “The Big Short” by author Michael Lewis.
On January 3, 2019, Bankman-Fried was scheduled to appear in federal court in Manhattan to enter a plea and be arraigned.