Tron CEO Justin Sun adds his voice to the growing chorus of crypto bosses eyeing FTX’s assets after the exchange filed for bankruptcy in Nov. 2022.
Speaking with reporters, Sun confirmed that several associates were investigating FTX’s assets but admitted that it could be some time before they are auctioned off.
Justin Sun joins Garlinghouse in bid to acquire assets
Justin Sun becomes the second crypto CEO interested in the assets of Sam Bankman-Fried’s defunct FTX crypto empire. Before FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, 2022, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse was interested in buying FTX’s stakes in other companies and its institution-facing business. He later admitted that FTX’s bankruptcy filing would complicate the acquisition process.
Ripple also has extended job offers to former FTX employees, provided they didn’t work in compliance, finance, or ethics.
Justin Sun has a story of his own that started in China
Justin Sun said that the failure of FTX will dampen cryptocurrency enthusiasm in America.
The TRON CEO has a storied history, starting when he covertly escaped China’s ban on Initial Coin Offerings in 2017 to head for the sunny shores of San Francisco, a Mar. 2022 piece by The Verge reports. Justin Sun had earlier run an initial coin offering for TRX.
He later co-invested in a crypto exchange Poloniex, joining investors to buy the company from stablecoin issuer Circle.
According to the Verge, the software holding up Poloniex was unusually written. Some customers deposited Bitcoin into Tether wallets, which engineers later discovered was worth around $20 million. The funds were hidden in what the report calls “digital crevices.” They eventually landed in a Poloniex communal wallet, The Verge reports.
While Justin Sun allegedly referred to the lost crypto as “my 300 Bitcoin,” there is no evidence that the money made its way into his personal fortune, which Bloomberg reports is now worth $25 billion.
“It’s definitely a crime to convert customer funds for personal use,” said UCLA professor Andrew Verstein.
Nevertheless, Justin Sun remains a controversial figure in the crypto industry. He reportedly repaired the breach between himself and the Chinese Communist Party by heading an academic initiative on blockchain development.
At the same time, he reportedly acquired a 60% stake in Huobi, a $300 million per day crypto exchange with origins in China that lists Sun as an adviser. He kept his name out of any deals to avoid falling afoul of the Chinese government, people familiar with the developments told Bloomberg. Sun has denied the allegations.
Bankman-Fried looks to bail out FTX
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried could face criminal charges in the U.S. after allegations surfaced that he lent customer funds to sister trading firm Alameda Research. Bankman-Fried is apparently holed out in an affluent Bahamas neighborhood. FTX’s U.S. bankruptcy hearing commenced in Delaware on Nov. 22, 2022.
He is reportedly trying to raise money to bail out FTX as a third party since he is no longer the company’s CEO. After the bankruptcy filing, seasoned Enron bankruptcy guru John Ray replaced Bankman-Fried.
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