The Bahamas Securities Commission is in the possession of a significant amount of FTX’s customer funds.
In a Dec. 29 media release, the Bahamas regulator said that it held $3.5 billion worth of FTX users’ assets, which it took into custody for safekeeping.
The Bahamas Securities Commission said it had obtained a court order to take possession of these assets after it determined there was a significant risk that they would be lost after former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried provided them with information about “cyberattacks” on the exchange’s systems.
The funds were reportedly transferred from FTX to the Bahamas Securities Commission’s digital asset wallets on Nov. 12 after the exchange reported it was hacked. Blockchain analysts estimate that around $372 million was stolen from the exchange and was likely the work of an insider. The alleged hack is now the subject of an inquiry from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The regulator said it would continue to custody these funds until the Bahamas Supreme courts directs them to deliver the funds to customers and creditors.
In the statement, the Commission reiterated that it had not in any way directed or authorized FTX to prioritize withdrawals for Bahamas-based customers – something that FTX claimed it had been requested to do immediately after it halted withdrawals.
FTX’s liquidators have also claimed that Bahamian authorities directed Bankman-Fried to mint hundreds of millions of dollars of digital tokens and transfer them to government officials.
The Bahamian authorities and FTX’s liquidators, led by newly appointed CEO John Ray III, have been at odds over the course of the last few weeks regarding the events following the exchange’s collapse.
“The Commission will continue to conduct a comprehensive and diligent investigation into the causes of FTX’s failure, act in accordance with directions issued by the Supreme Court of The Bahamas,” said the Bahamas Securities Commisson in its statement on Thursday.