FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried claimed that the firm still had $9bn (£7.6bn) in assets today as it scrambles to raise cash to pay back creditors following its collapse.
Bankruptcy filings on Monday revealed that FTX, previously one of the biggest exchanges in the sector, may have as many as one million creditors after collapsing amidst a “severe liquidity” crisis last week.
The 30-year-old former billionaire and the firm’s few remaining employees have been ringing round in last ditch efforts to raise cash even as the firm’s new chief, who oversaw the downfall of Enron, takes over the reins.
In Tweets posted overnight, the FTX founder said the exchange was handling around “$10bn a day of volume and billions of transfers” and he was now scrambling to turn its remaining assets into cash to cover its near $8bn liabilities.
He wrote on Twitter that, with “lots of caveats” the firm had $5.5bn of “semi” liquid assets and $3.5bn of illiquid, before acknowledging that “maybe that $9bn illiquid” is no longer “worth $9bn”.
The comments suggest that Bankman-Fried is doubling down on claims reported by the Financial Times that FTX’s holdings of Serum – a token controlled by FTX – are worth $2bn, despite the fact the coin currently has a total market cap of $80 after diving in value in the past week.
FTX also holds major stakes in venture capital investment which are hard to convert into cash quickly, while his efforts to raise cash from rescue investors have so far failed.
Writing on Twitter, however, he suggested he has not yet given up on the efforts despite being ousted as chief.
“So what can I try to do? Raise liquidity, make customers whole, and restart,” he wrote.
“Maybe I’ll fail. Maybe I won’t get anything more for customers than what’s already there. I’ve certainly failed before. You all know that now, all too well.”
He added that “parts of me thinks I might get somewhere”.
FTX’s collapse has sent shockwaves across the industry and has sparked fears of contagion. Crypto broker Genesis was today the latest firm to reveal it had been caught up in the turmoil as it halted withdrawals from its lending business.
“FTX has created unprecedented market turmoil, resulting in abnormal withdrawal requests which have exceeded our current liquidity,” the firm wrote on Twitter.
Bitcoin prices tumbled again today on the news, reaching lows of $16,408 (~£13,840).