The crypto industry is witnessing a dramatic turn of events as one of the leading exchanges, FTX, has filed for bankruptcy after suffering massive losses from the recent market crash. The exchange, which was valued at over $18 billion in July, has reportedly accumulated more than $10 billion in debt and liabilities, leaving its users and investors in a state of uncertainty and panic.
However, not all hope is lost for FTX, as there are several potential buyers who are interested in acquiring the troubled platform. Among them is Bullish, a new crypto exchange backed by billionaire investors such as Peter Thiel, Alan Howard and Richard Li. Bullish, which is expected to launch later this year, has reportedly submitted a bid of $6.5 billion for FTX, according to sources familiar with the matter.
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.
Bullish is not the only contender for FTX, as other exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase and Kraken are also said to be in the running. However, Bullish has an edge over its rivals, as it has a strong financial backing and a unique business model that aims to combine the best features of centralized and decentralized exchanges. Bullish claims to offer high performance, liquidity and security, as well as innovative products such as tokenized stocks, derivatives and lending.
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 break down, 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 of an encrypted messaging app to contact a potential witness.
If Bullish succeeds in acquiring FTX, it could be a game-changer for the crypto industry, as it would create a formidable competitor to the existing players and attract more users and investors to the space. However, the deal is not yet finalized, as there are still legal and regulatory hurdles to overcome. Moreover, FTX’s creditors and shareholders may have a say in the outcome of the bidding process, as they may prefer a different offer or a restructuring plan.
It remains to be seen how the situation will unfold for FTX and its potential buyers, but one thing is certain: the crypto industry is never dull and always full of surprises.