Crypto exchange Bullish among bidders for bankrupt FTX

Quick Take

  • Crypto exchange Bullish and Tribe Capital are among the bidders interested in acquiring the defunct trading platform FTX, which filed for bankruptcy protection in November.
  • Bullish aims to tap into FTX’s customer base, while the estate overseeing the failed crypto exchange’s assets has set a deadline for new bids by Sept. 24.

Crypto exchange Bullish is among the several parties making a bid for defunct trading platform FTX, according to sources familiar with the situation. 

FTX Group, which filed for bankruptcy protection in November, is in the process of due diligence and information sharing with a number of parties to negotiate an "acquisition, merger, recapitalization or other transaction" to relaunch the firm, according to a presentation filed in a Delaware court.

In addition to Bullish, Tribe Capital has also made its own bid. Its venture portfolio included FTX prior to its collapse and bankruptcy at the end of last year. A representative for Bullish declined to comment. 

According to the court presentation, the exchange's estate has contacted 75 bidders. It's set a deadline for new bids of Sept. 24.  

Bullish logic

As for the logic behind Bullish's bid, the firm sees value in FTX's customer base and it's keen to convert "as many [users] to being customers of Bullish as possible," according to a person familiar with the ongoing conversations. The process is slow-moving and may breakdown, the person added. 

A Monday court filing revealed FTX's assets of around $7 billion include roughly $1.2 billion parked in SOL tokens.

The filing showed that 50 "insiders" including former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and Caroline Ellison received a mix of cash, crypto, equity and real estate worth $2.2 billion.

Bankman-Fried is currently in a New York City jail awaiting an early October trial after prosecutors accused him of witness tampering for the leaking of a private diary of Ellison and the use an encrypted messaging app to contact a potential witness.

The former billionaire is facing as much as 100 years in prison if he is convicted on a slew of charges, including allegations that he and other FTX executives used billions of customer assets to make their own failed investments. 

Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

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