FTX Relaunch Effort Includes Celsius Winner Proof Group, Sources Say

Plans to bring Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto exchange back to life include the Silicon Valley investment firm Proof Group, which was part of the Fahrenheit consortium that successfully bid for bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius.

AccessTimeIconNov 6, 2023 at 5:03 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 6, 2023 at 10:29 p.m. UTC
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Silicon Valley investment firm Proof Group, part of the Fahrenheit consortium that successfully bid for bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius, is in the running to relaunch FTX, according to two people familiar with the plans.

FTX, at the time one of the largest crypto exchanges, collapsed almost a year ago, sending shockwaves through the industry. Since then, the bankrupt exchange has received multiple bids for a potential restart, now narrowed down to a shortlist of three, according to Perella Weinberg Partners, an investment bank involved in the process.

Other options being considered include selling the entire exchange and its valuable 9 million-strong customer list or bringing in a partner. A decision should be made by mid-December, said Kevin Cofsky, a partner at Perella Weinberg last month.

Proof Group is a venture capital investor in crypto projects such as Aptos, Lightspark and Sui.

Other firms reported to have shown an interest in reviving FTX include fintech and digital assets firm Figure, which also bid for Celsius as part of the unsuccessful NovaWulf group. Venture capital investor Tribe Capital was also reported to have submitted a bid for FTX.

There are many moving parts in the FTX bankruptcy, and a restart would have to deal with various aspects of claims, token lockups and compliance issues. The process is not straightforward. Bankrupt crypto lender Voyager attracted a number of hopeful bidders looking to restructure the firm, offer tokens to creditors and so on, to no avail, offering a case study on how tricky reboot plans can be, said bankruptcy expert Thomas Braziel, founder of 117 Partners.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Ian Allison

Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.

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