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News/FTX's Potential $3.4 Billion Crypto Fire Sale: What It Means for You

FTX's Potential $3.4 Billion Crypto Fire Sale: What It Means for You

Sep 12 2023

8 months ago3 minutes read
Stubborn robot facing off against team of lawyers

FTX's Multi-billion Dollar Liquidation and Legal Faceoff

Written by Van

FTX, a widely recognized entity in the crypto sector, is in the process of acquiring regulatory permissions essential to unload a considerable sum of $3.4 billion in various cryptocurrency assets. The central figure in this struggle is the Delaware Bankruptcy Court.

They will make the call that could determine the outcome of FTX's proposed asset sale on September 13. Amidst all this, FTX is embroiled in another legal conflict with LayerZero, an on-chain interoperability protocol. FTX's aim in this battle is to reclaim a substantial $21.37 million in lost assets.

The Unparalleled Scale of FTX's Financial Holdings

ftx assets (1).webp
Source: Court filing

FTX's comprehensive assets stand at a breathtaking $7 billion. The categories of liquidity it holds are well diversified, with Digital Assets weighing in at $3.4 billion and cash reserves measuring approximately $2.4 billion. Brokerage Investments, in companies such as Grayscale and Bitwise, are valued at roughly $529 million.

Moreover, approximately $199 million are invested in Bahamas Properties. FTX's venture portfolio, a complex mix of 438 different investments, has a robust valuation of $4.5 billion. Large chunks of this portfolio are made up of equity positions in crypto firms, such as Genesis and Yugalabs, amounting to $2.9 billion.

FTX's Cryptocurrency Holdings: A Detailed Inventory

According to court filings as of August 31, FTX had a substantial crypto asset portfolio. It held Solana (SOL) valued at $1.16 billion; Bitcoin (BTC) was $560 million, Ethereum (ETH) held a significant value of $192 million.

Other coins, such as APT ($137 million), USDT ($120 million), $119 million worth of XRPBIT ($49 million), STG ($46 million), WBTC ($41 million), and WETH ($37 million) were part of the mix.

Messari's Insights on FTX's Holdings & Liquidations

According to Messari's update dated September 11, 2023, liquidators currently hold around $1.3 billion in liquid crypto assets, excluding stablecoins. Of these holdings, the bulk consists of SOL, BTC, ETH, APT, DOGETRX, and MATIC.

The fallout from FTX's holdings on the market relies upon the actively traded volume of the asset. The BTC and ETH holdings approximately make up 1% of their weekly traded volume. In contrast, DOGE, TRX, and MATIC are less liquid, with FTX holdings representing 6-12% of their weekly volumes.

Substantial holdings of SOL and APT are primarily composed of vesting tokens held on the Alameda and venture side. It's worth noting that only $9.2M of SOL will be unlocked per month, ensuring a reduced impact from liquidation.

As it stands, FTX's liquidations could kick off as soon as the coming Wednesday.

A Planned Liquidation Awaiting Court Approval

FTX has proposed Galaxy Digital, under Mike Novogratz's guidance, to manage the execution of the asset sale. The initial proposal sets a weekly cap of up to $100 million worth of tokens.

However, this allowance might get bumped up to $200 million, with the inflow and outflow of individual tokens dictating this decision.

How the Crypto Market Responded to FTX's Liquidation Announcement

The crypto price landscape was shaken as FTX's impending liquidation triggered a universal drop in the market. Notably, Solana took a hit, marking a 4% immediate drop and a fall of 9% over the week, pushing its price down to $17.

Crypto coin prices also suffered, with Bitcoin struggling through a 2.2% dip that brought it close to $25,000. The Ethereum market cap felt a harder blow with a 3.2% decrease, with ETH shedding over $1,600 in value. It marked an overall weekly drop of over 2% and more than 13% in the past 30 days.


However, in the aftermath of the liquidation news, the broader crypto market recovered somewhat, with Bitcoin bouncing back to $26,000 and Ethereum creeping above $1,600. 

Crypto industry players and observers have varied perspectives on the situation. Evgen Verzun, the founder of Kaizen.Finance, predicted a general market decline until the liquidation process gets underway.

On the other hand, several crypto influencers, including MartyParty, have labeled this liquidation news as FUD, assuming that the sale is likely happening over-the-counter to avert a major market impact.

Strategically, Justin Sun is mulling over a tender offer for TRX/USD tokens, as seen on cryptocurrency charts, to mitigate the impact of FTX's expected liquidations.

This planned intervention comes as Ryan Selkis, the founder and CEO of crypto market intelligence firm Messari, identified specific assets that might be under high stress due to the looming FTX liquidations, including SOL, APT, DOGE, MATIC, and TRX. 

As such, the market's reaction to FTX's announcement provides a glimpse into the sensitivity and adaptability of the crypto universe in response to major sector-specific news.

DOJ Steps In: A Speed Bump for FTX's Founder 

In a convoluted twist, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) seeks to complicate matters for FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried by attempting to block the testimony of his proposed expert third-party witnesses.

Market Volatility and the Federal Reserve's Intervention

Robot trader wearing VR headset, frantically trading crypto as prices flash red (1).webp

The ensuing market volatility has seen the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) spike to a projected 3.6% YoY in August, up from July's 3.2%. The Federal Reserve may choose to take further liquidity-tightening measures in response to these developments.

These factors contributed to the overall bearish sentiment, leading to the widespread market sell-off.

Bankruptcy Court Approves FTX's Liquidation Plan

The Delaware Bankruptcy Court has given the green light to FTX's planned liquidation of digital assets, marking the latest development in this sprawling saga. In the face of the contentious $3.4 billion liquidation proposal, the court rulings crucially set the ground rules for the administration of this landmark asset sell-off.

The ascent into liquidation will be painstakingly phased. In keeping with the approved plan, the first week will witness a cap of $50 million in token sales. Subsequently, with proper permissions, this limit could surge to $100 million a week, or even an eye-watering $200 million a week with court approval.

Stringent conditions accompany these large-scale liquidations. In particular, a mandatory 10-day notice must precede any sales of Bitcoin, Ethereum, or tokens connected with insiders. The window allows credit committees and the trustee to raise objections, a critical measure to ensure the transparent and fair process of the liquidation.

In parallel with direct sales, FTX's debtors can utilize derivatives like calls and puts to mitigate the price impact brought about by their sales. This strategy might prove invaluable, given the massive amount of tokens destined for liquidation and their potential to disrupt the market

Wrapping Up: FTX's Complex Crypto Adventure

FTX's ongoing legal, financial, and market saga is a web of multifaceted dimensions. Court decisions on the nature and extent of the proposed $3.4 billion crypto liquidation could severely influence the crypto market.

This crucial situation overlays a larger narrative of regulatory measures, market resilience, and investor sentiment that shapes the evolutionary trajectory of the global crypto landscape.


1. How is the proposed $3.4 billion liquidation by FTX posing a possible impact on the larger crypto market?

FTX's liquidation proposal has unsettled the larger crypto market, contributing to a decline in the prices of major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana.

2. What is the nature and scale of assets that FTX is planning to offload as part of its proposed liquidation?

FTX intends to liquidate a vast array of cryptocurrencies (SOL, BTC, ETH, APT, and others) that amount to a total of $3.4 billion.

3. Can you provide a breakdown of FTX's total assets?

FTX boasts total assets worth $7 billion, divided between digital assets ($3.4 billion), cash reserves ($2.4 billion), brokerage investments ($529 million) and Bahamas properties ($199 million).

4. How did the crypto market react to FTX's announcement of significant asset liquidation?

The market's initial reaction to FTX's liquidation announcement was a widespread decline in cryptocurrency prices, reflecting a broader bearish sentiment.

5. What are the specific legal challenges that FTX is currently facing?

FTX is involved in a legal situation with LayerZero regarding the recovery of $21.37 million in lost assets. Furthermore, the U.S. DOJ aims to thwart FTX's founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, from getting a fair trial.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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