The Bahamian attorney general defended the island nation’s actions during the collapse of FTX Digital Markets Ltd. and urged patience while authorities investigate the embattled cryptocurrency exchange.
In a national address late Sunday, Ryan Pinder disputed recent statements made by FTX’s new chief executive and lawyers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court questioning whether Bahamian regulators had the authority to take control of the local FTX subsidiary’s assets around the time of its bankruptcy earlier this month. He said they did have the right to do so under local laws and did so to protect customers and creditors.
A fight over which FTX entity controls customer assets could influence how and when customers get money back and whether that path goes through a bankruptcy court in Delaware or a liquidation in the Bahamas.
Pinder reiterated that local regulators and authorities are investigating FTX. U.S. regulators and prosecutors also are investigating the firm founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, which was once valued at $32 billion but collapsed in days during the recent cryptocurrency market meltdown.
Echoing recent remarks by Prime Minister Philip Davis, Pinder said the company’s implosion was caused by bad behavior involving more than 100 related entities all over the world, not lax oversight by local regulators where FTX was based. “Any attempt to lay the entirety of this debacle at the feet of the Bahamas, because FTX is headquartered here, would be a gross oversimplification of reality,” he said.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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