Shady Dealings: Someone Made a Killing on the Rumor That Binance Is About To Acquire Voyager; Meanwhile, FTX Crypto Assets Are Now Worth Just $659,000!

Rohail Saleem
FTX Binance

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Binance is everywhere these days. Its founder, Zhao Changpeng, who also goes by the short-hand CZ, is giving media interviews left, right, and center, all the while adopting the role of the crypto world's newest "white knight," replete with the entire regalia and pomp. After all, CZ has alluded to the establishment of a crypto bailout fund that will attempt to rescue viable entities that are, nonetheless, experiencing a liquidity crunch in light of the ongoing shockwaves that are permeating almost every sector of the crypto sphere following FTX's unexpected bankruptcy last week.

The kind of volatility that is currently rocking the entire crypto sector is capable of making fortunes, provided that one knows which proverbial horse to bet on. And, apparently, someone does know. Coindesk reported today that Binance is planning to revive its failed bid to acquire the bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital. Back in early summer, FTX had managed to outbid Binance as Voyager sank. At the time, FTX's founder, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), was widely hailed as a knight in shining armor for the crypto world. However, now that FTX itself has become bankrupt, Binance is planning to step in.

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While this news broke earlier today, someone bet heavily on Voyager's native VGX token yesterday by buying 12,305 $VGX coins, paying 3 ETH in the process. Today, as the rumor spurred a sizable rally in the VGX token, the speculator dumped the stake for 3.62 ETH, earning a tidy profit within the span of a few hours. Bear in mind that the unregulated crypto sector does not have insider trading rules. While we can't be certain as to the identity of this speculator, the kind of precision on display here lends credence to the thesis that an insider was likely involved.

Meanwhile, an FTX insider had published a rough asset tally of FTX a few days back. If you peruse the "semi-liquid" column in the table above, you'll notice that the defunct exchange's crypto assets were valued at $5.3 billion. Well, no longer.

In its bankruptcy-related filings, FTX has now valued these crypto assets at just $659,000! Previously, these assets were valued in billions of dollars. Note that the figures presented in the tweet above are in thousands of dollars.

The filing also includes some very interesting tidbits. For instance, FTX's new CEO, John Ray, had the following words for SBF:

"Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information."

In the meantime, the FTX casualty list keeps growing. Rumors continue to persist that BlockFi is about to declare bankruptcy. Yesterday, the lending arm of the crypto firm Genesis suspended all redemptions and loan creations, citing about $175 million in funds that remain trapped within the now-defunct FTX. This prompted Circle, the issuer of the USDC stablecoin, to disclose that Genesis was a counterparty when it came to the firm's overcollateralized fixed-term yield product. Gemini has also halted withdrawals for five days from its Earn Program. Finally, Binance, OKX, and ByBit have all suspended the ability to deposit USDC and USDT on Solana. Given Solana's hefty exposure to FTX and the attendant volatility in its native SOL coin, this measure might be a risk-management exercise on part of these exchanges.

Note:

A previous version of this post erroneously stated that FTX's crypto assets were valued at $659.

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