Nathan Howard / Stringer
- FTX’s new CEO, John Ray III, has said the failed crypto exchange could be revived and resume normal operations.
- He told the Wall Street Journal that investors have praised the platform, and some shareholders still see it as a “viable business.”
- Ray has been searching for assets within FTX to pay off its shortfalls, including the $8 billion it owes to customers.
FTX’s new boss, John Ray III, said FTX could be revived and eventually resume normal operations while the crypto exchange is undergoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
In his first interview since FTX collapsed in November, he told the Wall Street Journal that he set up a task force to look into restarting the international exchange FTX.com.
“Everything is on the table,” Ray said. “If there is a path forward on that, we will not only explore that, we’ll do it.”
Some customers have praised the platform for its technology and suggested bringing it back to business, he added.
Ray, who was brought in to sort out FTX’s disarrayed finances, and has spent the past few months searching for assets within the exchange to cover its shortfalls, including the $8 billion it owes in customer deposits.
The exchange recently recovered $5 billion in liquid assets, but tracking down all of the money could take months, Ray warned, since FTX had virtually “no record keeping whatsoever” and used QuickBooks, a small accounting software, to run its multibillion-dollar business.
A key question Ray flagged is whether restarting FTX.com would recover more value for customers than liquidating assets or selling the platform.
“There are stakeholders we’re working with who’ve identified what they see is a viable business,” he told the Journal.
Meanwhile, Sam Bankman-Fried, who was ousted as CEO when FTX filed for bankruptcy in November, has disputed figures from FTX’s new management, said FTX’s US platform is solvent, and that a bankruptcy filing was avoidable.
The exchange reportedly comingled customer funds with those of Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s crypto investing arm, and spent millions on lavish employee purchases, like vacation homes in the Bahamas.
He was charged with fraud in December and pleaded not guilty earlier this month. He is currently on house arrest as he awaits trial.