Bankrupt crypto trading firm Alameda Research has filed a lawsuit against Grayscale Investments, the company behind the world’s largest Bitcoin fund.
In an announcement on Monday, FTX’s debtors disclosed that the exchange’s sister-company Alameda was suing Grayscale, seeking injunctive relief for FTX’s creditors to realize more than $250 million in net asset value.
The lawsuit, filed in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware, also asserted claims against Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale, and Barry Silbert, CEO of Grayscale’s parent company Digital Currency Group.
The complaint alleges that Grayscale’s “self-imposed redemption plan” prevents shareholders from realizing approximately $9 billion in value tied to its Bitcoin and Ethereum Trusts. FTX’s customers alone would realize “over a quarter billion dollars,” said the FTX debtors, which would value the exchange’s shares at $550 million – around 90% higher than its valuation today.
Alameda owns 22 million shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) and 6 million shares in the Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE), according to the Financial Times.
The lawsuit further claims that Grayscale’s exorbitant management fees of $1.3 billion charged over the last two years are in violation of the Trust’s agreements, and that the firm hid behind contrived excuses to prevent redemptions.
“We will continue to use every tool we can to maximize recoveries for FTX customers and creditors. Our goal is to unlock value that we believe is currently being suppressed by Grayscale’s self-dealing and improper redemption ban,” said John J. Ray III, FTX’s new CEO and Chief Restructuring Officer.
A similar lawsuit was filed by Fir Tree Capital Management against Grayscale in December. The hedge fund called for Grayscale to lower fees and resume redemptions in a complaint that was also filed in the Delaware’s Chancery Court.
2/ FTX allegations are similar to the Fir Tree's complaint.
Fir Tree only pursued Information Rights (books & records).
This time, FTX is going further and seeking court-enforced remedies.
— Ram Ahluwalia, crypto CFA (@ramahluwalia) March 6, 2023
Meanwhile, Grayscale’s flagship fund GBTC narrowed its discount to 42% ahead of Tuesday’s court hearing, where the firm will present oral arguments for its case against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) concerning GBTC’s conversion to an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).