Four months after the collapse of FTX, the once prominent crypto trading platform, FTX EU, the company’s European arm, has launched a new website specifically for its customers in the region to withdraw their locked funds.
According to a report by the finance and business news blog Finance Magnets, the new website – www.ftxeurope.eu – was launched after receiving approval from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), where the company was registered.
FTX EU was launched in March 2022 to cater to crypto users in the Europe Economic Area and the Middle East.
FTX Europe Allows Users to Redeem Balances in Fiat
In an email from the company, it was noted that the website will only allow FTX EU clients to retrieve their fiat balances, and no other products or services will be offered. Users were also asked to reset their passwords before logging in.
Notably, not all European clients of FTX were FTX EU users, as the platform only launched seven months before the company went under. Although FTX Europe, headquartered in Switzerland, was under the management of FTX, it operated as a separate entity.
On November 9, two days before FTX declared bankruptcy, CySEC asked FTX Europe to suspend its operations and proceed with immediate actions to protect investors. The financial regulator also suspended the exchange’s license.
The European subsidiary also served customers in the Middle East and had a license from the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) of Dubai to operate in the United Arab Emirates. FTX EU was the first crypto exchange to receive a license from the newly formed crypto asset regulator.
While FTX EU was only made available to customers in Europe and the Middle East in March of last year, it is not clear how many users were affected by its closure. Experts believe the numbers are not large compared to FTX U.S. or FTX, which had 4 million users globally.
FTX Liquidators Selling Company Assets to Make Investors Whole
Similarly, in February, FTX Japan, the Japanese subsidiary of the crypto giant that served customers in the Asian region, allowed clients to withdraw all their funds, which amounted to roughly $50 million. FTX Japan was shut down by regulators on November 15, four days after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
FTX Europe and FTX Japan were among the 134 affiliated companies part of FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings. FTX Debtors, the group responsible for liquidating the company’s assets, had received permission from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to sell the assets of its European and Asian subsidiaries to repay customers.
The crypto trading platform founded by Sam Bankman-Fried collapsed after it was revealed that he conspired with his associates to use customer deposits to make speculative investments outside of business and influence politicians in the United States.
The co-founder and CEO of FTX transferred $10 billion worth of crypto funds to Alameda Research, a hedge fund co-founded by him and run by his girlfriend, Caroline Ellison.
Bankman-Fried was arrested by the U.S. government in the Bahamas, where FTX was based, in December and extradited to face criminal charges, which include securities fraud, money laundering, bank fraud, and campaign financing violations. The former billionaire pleaded not guilty to all charges and is currently under house arrest in California, awaiting trial.
On Thursday, Bankman-Fried denied allegations by federal prosecutors who accused him of bribing Chinese government officials with $40 million in cryptocurrencies to get access to Alameda’s trading accounts in two exchanges based in China. The accounts collectively held $1 billion in digital assets and were frozen by Chinese law enforcement in 2021.
Two days earlier, crypto exchange OKX decided to unfreeze an account in the name of a former FTX employee that was controlled by Alameda. The account contained $157 million in crypto that the company’s liquidators had requested access to. FTX Debtors are currently in the process of locating all FTX assets to liquidate to make investors whole.
Bankman-Fried’s associates, including co-founder and COO Gary Wang, Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, and former FTX head of engineering at Nishad Singh, surrendered before the court and pleaded guilty to their involvement in the “largest Ponzi scheme in American history”.
All three executives have agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for reduced sentences. Meanwhile, the next trial for the big guy is scheduled for October. If found guilty of his crimes, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years behind bars.