The Securities and Exchange Commission of the Bahamas seized $3.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency from crypto exchange FTX and transferred it to its own digital wallet “for safekeeping.”
According to CNBC, in a press release late on December 29, the Bahamas Securities Commission confirmed the total amount taken from FTX’s subsidiary in the Bahamas, FTX Digital Markets. The agency also previously confirmed holding some FTX digital assets but did not disclose the amount.
The commission said the property seized was valued at more than $3.5 billion, based on market value at the time of transfer. This comes on November 12, a day after crypto exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy protection in the US, claiming there was “a substantial risk of dissipation” of assets under its control. FTX Digital Markets.
The funds are currently held on a “temporary basis” until the Supreme Court of the Bahamas directs them to be delivered to customers and creditors, or to an insolvent liquidator. After filing for bankruptcy, FTX became the target of a suspected hack that caused $477 million to disappear from the company’s crypto wallet. The identity of the perpetrator is still unknown.
The Commission wants to handle insolvency proceedings for FTX in the Bahamas. But the FTX’s US attorneys have opposed the move, alleging in a November 17 filing that the commission worked with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) to obtain “unauthorized access” ” into FTX systems, in order to transfer digital assets to their own management. In response, the Bahamas Securities Commission called the statement “inaccurate”.
SBF was arrested in the Bahamas on December 12 and later extradited to the US, where he is awaiting trial on charges of fraud, conspiracy to launder money and election campaign finance violations. SBF was released last week on $250 million bail. The former FTX CEO is expected to be charged and given a plea in federal court in Manhattan (USA) on January 3, 2023.