FTX will begin to move key operations to Bahamas as part of HQ shift

FTX is moving some key operations from its long-standing headquarters in Hong Kong to the Bahamas. 

FTX Ltd. CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried tweeted today that the firm is in the process of moving its headquarters to the Bahamas from Hong Kong. The exchange's Bahamian subsidiary, FTX Digital Markets, registered as a digital assets business with the nation's securities regulator, according to an announcement earlier this week. That announcement also revealed Ryan Salame, former Head of OTC at Alameda Research, will take the helm at the Bahamian arm as CEO. 

Friday's announcement, however, means Bankman-Fried will likely spend a significant portion of his time at the Bahamian office and critical operations will move there over time, according to a source at the company. Still, the Hong Kong office remains active, and for the time being critical operations will remain there. The office will likely stay operational as the firm maintains a variety of offices worldwide.

The decision to move headquarters seems to be two-fold. The Chinese government continues to crack down on crypto and FTX could face regulatory uncertainty in the future despite Hong Kong's previously favorable environment. The Bahamas, on the other hand, has a framework for crypto firms already in place. 


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Additionally, Bankman-Fried has tweeted his mounting frustrations with the strict quarantine procedures in place in China. 

"Who would have thought two years ago that a significant consideration for where to live would be "it's actually legal to enter and leave the country," he tweeted today. 

Bankman-Fried also cited loosened covid restrictions in his announcement tweet: "The Bahamas has emerged from COVID lively, safe, and without quarantine."

Launched in 2019, FTX is one of the largest venues for crypto derivatives trading. The firm announced a $900 million fundraise earlier this year that valued the company at $18 billion. 


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Aislinn Keely is a reporter on The Block's policy team holding down the legal beat. She covers court decisions, bankruptcies, regulatory actions and other key moments in the legal sphere, putting them in context for the wider crypto industry. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV and helmed Fordham University's student newspaper. Send tips or thoughts on all things policy and legal to akeely@theblock.co or follow her on Twitter for updates @AislinnKeely.
Frank Chaparro is the Editor At Large at The Block. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. He runs his own podcast The Scoop and writes a biweekly eponymous newsletter. He leads special projects, including The Block's flagship podcast, The Scoop. Prior to The Block, he held roles at Business Insider, NPR, and Nasdaq. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].