SBF Lawyers Ask FTX Trial to be Postponed
On March 8, attorneys for the founder of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan suggesting that his October 2 criminal case may have to be adjourned. The legal team referred to the fact that the consideration of the evidence, as well as the preparation of the defense, may take longer than expected. Moreover, the defense argues that federal prosecutors in Manhattan have not yet presented any evidence from the prosecution. To date, the investigation has only collected data from devices owned by former Alameda Research CEO, Caroline Ellison, and former FTX CTO, Gary Wang, who were previously SBF's closest associates and have already agreed to cooperate with the investigation, pleading guilty to a number of charges. In addition to the existing charges, four new charges of fraud and collusion were brought against the founder of FTX at the end of February 2023. This increased the total number of indictments against the SBF to 12. However, Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to only eight counts so far. In the meantime, FTX lawyers and auditors for the work performed only in January requested a payment of $38 million. Now the current management of the crypto exchange is obliged to pay this amount.
Mike Novogratz 'praised' Elizabeth Warren for criticizing Silvergate
In a recent sarcastic tweet, crypto investor and founder of Galaxy Digital, Mike Novogratz, wrote scathing praise for U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who recently lambasted crypto-focused bank Silvergate, which is now on the brink of bankruptcy. Novogratz wrote that Warren was “so smart” and also suggested that people ask her about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), calling it a “brilliant idea.” He also noted that Bitcoin could not even dream of a better defender than a senator. Of course, Galaxy Digital's founder implies that Warren's comments about Silvergate Bank and the need for regulation are misguided and reflect her misunderstanding of the benefits of cryptocurrencies in general and bitcoin in particular. The failing bank lost about $1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022 alone, according to public figures. Several of its partners, including industry giants like Coinbase and, by the way, Galaxy Digital itself, have gone out of their way to distance themselves from the crypto-financial institution in the wake of news of a possible collapse. At the same time, Warren wrote her critical tweet right after Silvergate announced it was winding down operations with client funds and suspending voluntary deposit liquidations due to losses from the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange. The senator called the bank's activities “risky, if not illegal” and called on regulators to take action to reduce risks in the industry.
The Ghost of Mt Gox: Creditor Repayment Deadline
The bankruptcy story of the first cryptocurrency exchange, Mt Gox, appears to be drawing to a close as the Tokyo trading floor rehabilitation committee and Mt Gox Bankruptcy Court Governor Nobuaki Kobayashi has created a roadmap for the process of recovering damages from creditors. The exchange started processing trading operations in 2010, but in February 2014 was forced to stop its activities and declare bankruptcy after the theft of 800,000 BTC. Since then, 200,000 BTC have been returned to creditors. In a letter dated March 7, 2023, Kobayashi wrote that creditors must register their claims for refunds by March 10 this year. Those who miss the deadline “will not be able to receive any of the repayments” mentioned in the letter. Repayment methods include options such as advance lump sum payment, cryptocurrency payment, bank transfer, and settlement through a money transfer provider. It is also known that in 2017 and 2018, Kobayashi sold 35,841 BTC and 34,008 BCH, which were conditionally owned by creditors. Therefore, some of them will be able to receive funds exclusively in fiat. According to the rehabilitation committee, the remaining Mt.Gox lenders will have access to ¥69 billion (roughly equivalent to $510 million) of 142,000 BTC worth $3.1 billion at the current exchange rate and 143,000 BCH worth $17 million.