News - FTX insolvency could take years

By Mike Hesp

FTX insolvency could take years


FTX has been planning to compensate former customers since November 2022. However, according to a lawyer, the insolvency case could last much longer.

Alan Rosenberg, partner at the law firm Markowitz Ringel Trusty & Hartog, predicts that the insolvency case that FTX filed in November is going to take longer than other crypto insolvency cases such as Celsius and BlockFi.

This is because FTX must first investigate several legal claims to recover funds paid out before the bankruptcy.

"Given the importance of some of these transfers, especially those to large organizations that can effectively defend themselves, some of these cases may take years," Rosenberg said in a interview.

The new FTX administrators are also under pressure from the Internal Revenue Service, the US tax authority. The demand: $44 billion in tax refunds.

There could be more such complaints in the future, for example because of FTX's political donations, it said.

Another problem: compensating creditors in crypto or fiat currency. "To my knowledge, there is no definitive case law on the valuation of cryptocurrencies in avoidance actions," Rosenberg said.

A reorganization plan released in December submitted could result in millions in losses for customers. The plan calls for creditors' claims to be valued on Nov. 11, 2022, at cryptocurrency rates - which were significantly lower than today.

The FTX trustees' decision is not yet final. Certain groups of creditors will have a chance to vote on the plan before it becomes final.

It remains to be seen whether the payout to creditors will take as long as it did when the Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox went bankrupt. Former customers received their first compensation only at the end of 2023, nearly a decade after the bankruptcy.

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