Binance to Sell Rest of FTX Token Holdings as Alameda CEO Defends Firm's Financial Condition

Alameda's CEO offered to buy Binance's FTT token holdings for $22 apiece.

AccessTimeIconNov 6, 2022 at 4:55 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:01 a.m. UTC

Binance’s CEO, responding to a CoinDesk scoop about trading firm Alameda Research’s balance sheet, tweeted Sunday that he will sell the remaining FTT tokens held on his books that he took on as part of his exit from Alameda sister company FTX last year.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao did not say how much FTT his firm will sell, but that as part of the cryptocurrency exchange’s exit from FTX equity last year, Binance received roughly $2.1 billion worth in the form of BUSD (Binance's stablecoin) and FTT.

Alameda’s CEO, meanwhile, tweeted that her trading firm’s financial condition is stronger than what was reflected by the balance sheet CoinDesk wrote about. She also offered, in a reply to the Binance CEO’s post, to buy his firm’s FTT token holdings for $22 each.

Speculation over the FTT token led to extreme price volatility amid the back-and-forth Twitter exchange.

FTT is having a wild ride

In his initial tweet, Zhao said Binance's sale would be executed in a way that “minimizes market impact” and could take “a few months to complete.”

Blockchain explorer Etherscan showed an address moving 23 million FTT (worth approximately $530 million) to a Binance exchange wallet Saturday afternoon.

The price of FTT declined 14% over a 24-hour period to $22.02, its lowest price since June, according to CoinMarketCap. As of press time, the price of FTT rebounded to $23.03.

Zhao’s announcement comes after rumors swirled about the financial health of Sam Bankman-Fried’s trading firm Alameda Research after a leaked balance sheet reviewed by CoinDesk revealed the trading firm owned $5.8 billion of FTT tokens (including FTT tokens pledged as collateral) as of June 30. Alameda was revealed to have $14.6 billion in assets and $8 billion in liabilities, including $7.4 billion in unidentified loans.

On Saturday, Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison responded to the rumors by tweeting that Alameda had over $10 billion of assets “not reflected” on the leaked balance sheet. Ellison added that Alameda had undisclosed hedges in place and had already returned a bulk of their outstanding loans.

Zhao added that the sale of Binance’s FTT holdings was not to be interpreted as a slight against a competitor exchange.

“We typically hold tokens for the long term. And we have held on to this token for this long,” he tweeted. “We stay transparent with our actions.”

UPDATE (Nov. 6, 17:17 UTC): Adds additional context in body, details from Etherscan.

UPDATE (Nov. 6, 18:10 UTC): Updates FTT price.


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Tracy Wang

Tracy was the deputy managing editor at CoinDesk. She owns BTC, ETH, MINA, ENS and some NFTs.

Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.