Digital currencies
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
Representations of cryptocurrencies seen in front of a displayed FTX logo and decreasing stock graph in this illustration taken November 10, 2022. Photo: Reuters

FTX’s balance sheet shows few liquid assets, leaving users with dim outlook for recovery

  • A breakdown of FTX’s balance sheet shows it had nearly US$9 billion in liabilities and just US$900 million in liquid assets ahead of its bankruptcy filing
  • Most of FTX’s biggest holdings are of lower-profile cryptocurrencies like Serum and Solana that have plunged in value

A swift plunge in value of FTX’s key crypto assets, along with unauthorised withdrawals of funds after it filed for bankruptcy, suggests that customers of the once popular exchange face a slim chance of recovering much of their deposits.

A breakdown of the balance sheet of Sam Bankman-Fried’s exchange shared with investors a day before its bankruptcy filing shows that it had nearly US$9 billion in liabilities and US$900 million in liquid assets, US$5.5 billion in “less liquid” assets, and US$3.2 billion in “illiquid” assets, according to sources familiar with the matter who viewed a limited version of information. Most of the biggest holdings, including lower-profile cryptocurrencies Serum, Solana and FTT, have since plunged in value.

Within 24 hours of the bankruptcy filing, an outflow of unauthorised crypto withdrawals – estimated at US$477 million by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic – further eroded the pile of assets available for possible customer recovery. FTX is launching an investigation with law enforcement into the suspected theft.

FTX collapse being scrutinised by Bahamas authorities

The balance sheet also referenced a negative US$8 billion of a “hidden, poorly internally labelled” fiat currency account and noted US$5 billion of withdrawals by users last Sunday. An accompanying note says, “There were many things I wish I could do differently than I did, but the largest are represented by these two things: the poorly labelled internal bank-related account, and the size of customer withdrawals during a run on the bank.”

The balance sheet is incomplete and not granular, one source said. The Financial Times first reported on the balance sheet. Bankman-Fried didn’t respond to emailed inquiry about the balance sheet.

Here’s a breakdown of key assets listed on FTX’s balance sheet:

Serum Tokens: US$2.2 billion

The biggest asset listed on the balance sheet is US$2.2 billion of SRM, or Serum tokens. Serum price has fallen about 38 per cent since November 10. Developers have since spun off the project to mitigate exposure to FTX. The market capitalisation for Serum, based on circulating supply, is about US$65 million, according to data from Coinmarketcap.

SOL Tokens: US$982 million

The balance sheet also lists assets of US$982 million in SOL, or Solana tokens. SOL fell 24 per cent in the past two days as developers distance themselves from the FTX-backed ecosystem.

MAPS Tokens: US$616 million

The price of the MAPS token fell 25 per cent in the past two days. The current market capitalisation for MAPS token is US$3.5 million, according to Coinmarketcap.

FTT Tokens: US$554 million

The price of FTT token, the token issued by FTX exchange, fell by 50 per cent in the past two days.

Robinhood Shares: US$472 million

Robinhood’s stock rose 13 per cent on Friday, meaning the asset value of Robinhood shares increased from what the balance sheet shows. However, Bankman-Fried’s holdings of Robinhood shares were under an entity called Emergent Fidelity, which is not among the entities listed in Friday’s bankruptcy filing.