First Mover Americas: FTX’s Empire Is Crumbling
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Crypto lender BlockFi has paused withdrawals, saying it cannot conduct business normally in the wake of FTX’s collapse. The move comes even though two days ago Chief Operating Officer Flori Marquez said that BlockFi was “fully operational” and that it was an independent entity. In July, FTX US agreed to provide BlockFi a $400 million line of credit, which also gave the crypto exchange the right to acquire BlockFi. That deal, of course, is now in doubt.
Beleaguered crypto exchange FTX’s Australian arm has called in administrators to examine whether it has enough assets to pay back its customers. FTX Australia’s directors handed the reins to administrators from KordaMentha, an advisory and investment firm, after FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried didn’t attend a board meeting, according to a report by Australian Financial Review. All eyes will turn to FTX’s other regional subsidiaries in the days ahead, as the crypto empire’s collapse continues. Bankman-Fried has warned that although FTX US is “100% liquid”, it might halt trading in the coming days and so users should close their positions.
FTX’s subsidiaries have slowly begun to reopen withdrawals. FTX Japan said it had resumed yen withdrawals, and FTX Turkey announced it was working on sending lira balances to its customers. Japan’s regulator had ordered FTX to stop accepting new customers and allow only current customers to close their existing positions and not open new ones. FTX’s regional subsidiaries are able to access local payment rails, and so traders aren’t reliant on the SWIFT network for deposits or withdrawals. Withdrawals on FTX International remained paused.
Chart of the Day
- The Dollar Index (DXY) has dropped to a three-month low. Markets have been offloading dollar bullish positions since Thursday's softer-than-expected U.S. inflation release.
- The weakness in the greenback may provide a tailwind to risky assets, including cryptocurrencies.
- Some observers, including ING, remain bullish on the dollar.