Hostaged FTX Funds Sold for Pennies on the Dollar in OTC Trades Among Customers

Troubled crypto exchange FTX halted withdrawals on Tuesday, leading panicked customers to offload their bags among themselves at steep discounts.

AccessTimeIconNov 9, 2022 at 7:57 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:02 a.m. UTC

Crypto traders with remaining funds on FTX are attempting to sell their account balances for fractions of their face value.

Telegram chats facilitating small over-the-counter (OTC) markets viewed by CoinDesk reveal buyers are bidding about 10 cents to 15 cents on the dollar for the locked-up funds, while sellers are generally looking to offload their balances at around 20 cents to 33 cents.

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  • “Size for sale @ ... $0.20,” read a Wednesday morning Tweet thread. “$0.15 in mid-size snap filled."

    Another private Telegram messaged showed a seller asking to offload funds at “$100k block” minimums.

    The steep discounts at which the FTX deposits are trading highlight the lack of customer confidence over a rapid full recovery. The messages also provide an approximate estimate for the fair value of a dollar currently held in limbo at FTX.

    The international portion of the exchange, FTX.com, halted all crypto withdrawals on Tuesday after a run led to slow withdrawal processing times.

    Upon announcing the Binance bailout, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tweeted that “all assets will be covered 1:1” under the preliminary purchase agreement.

    However, CoinDesk reported earlier Wednesday that Binance was “strongly leaning toward scrapping" the FTX rescue after preliminary due diligence.

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    Tracy Wang

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