FTX Collapse Ensnares Creditors Big and Small Across the Globe

November 23, 2022

From a German bank seeking a more than $2 million payment to a Chinese investor requesting $21,000 of lost savings. Claimants around the world who were caught up in the epic collapse of FTX Group are beginning to appear in court filings.

And unlike the very largest creditors, the claimants’ names haven’t been redacted, according to documents released recently in Delaware. They provide an insight into the sprawling nature of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire — and the daunting task faced by insolvency practitioners in figuring out who is owed what. The case involves more than a 1 million creditors and may take years to wrap up.

Creditors entangled in the meltdown of FTX, which was once one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world, include a Frankfurt-based financial institution. Bankhaus Scheich Wertpapierspezialist AG says it’s owed $2.3 million by FTX for deposits including Bitcoin, Ethereum and dollars, according to filings. A spokesperson for the firm confirmed the claim, when contacted by Bloomberg News, and said it traded on FTX for hedging purposes and that client money was unaffected.

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Creditors attached screenshots of trading accounts or emails they had received from FTX as proof of what they were owed.

“I want to know how to get my money back, after all that’s all my savings over the last few years,” said a Chinese creditor whose claim is worth just over $21,000. “I desperately need your help.”

Claimants cited in this article were contacted for comment by Bloomberg News, with several declining to comment.

FTX Fallout

A slew of claims made public come from investors based in Taiwan. And a handful are issued among those with addresses in China, the filings indicate, where crypto trading has been subject to regulatory clampdowns. Reto Stiffler, a former GAM Holding AG fund manager, also submitted a claim worth $895,000.

FTX owes its 50 biggest unsecured creditors a total of $3.1 billion, according to a filing at a Delaware court on Sunday that didn’t reveal the identity of any of the claimants. Two of the exchange’s customers are owed more than $200 million, the filing shows. The 50 largest claims are all from customers owed $21 million or more.

It remains unclear just how much money will be generated from the wind-down of FTX, and it’s possible that many creditors will receive only fractions of what they are owed, if anything. The process can take months in smaller cases and years for bigger multi-billion-dollar bankruptcies. The alleged debts, which are typically unsecured, will be subject to a process designed to weed out any bogus, inflated or duplicated claims. Traders can buy up the claims — and make money holding them by waiting out for as big a payout as possible.

Meanwhile a hedge fund managed by a subsidiary of German crypto player Immutable Insight says it’s exposed to FTX’s fallout, saying it’s owed $1.6 million.

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“We took swift actions to immediately reduce any exposure, and as a result of this, some initiated withdrawals were not processed,” a spokesman for the investment vehicle BlockchainFonds said in an email. “BlockchainFonds does not have any direct exposure towards Alameda Research or FTT token.”

–With assistance from Steven Church, Donal Griffin, Anna Irrera and Cindy Wang.

Photograph: In this photo illustration, the FTX logo is seen on a computer on Nov. 10, 2022 in Atlanta, Ga. Photo credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images


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