Regulators investigating FTX crypto exchange amid liquidity crisis: report

Nov. 10, 2022

Federal regulators are reportedly investigating cryptocurrency exchange FTX amid concerns of a liquidity crisis at the company and fallout on the rest of the crypto sector.

Investigations: Bloomberg reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are looking into FTX’s relationships with other properties led by Sam Bankman-Fried, with the SEC probe launched months ago.

Solvency Concerns: While rival crypto exchange Binance this week announced an agreement to buy FTX, Coindesk reported that Binance has backed out less than a day after reviewing FTX’s internal data and loan commitments. Those developments followed reports raising concerns about FTX's solvency, with FTX users posting on social media about delays in withdrawing assets.

More Sanctions: The latest news came on the same day that Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced sanctions against several individuals and entities for using crypto to facilitate the supply of illicit drugs to U.S. markets. OFAC earlier this week amended its sanctions on the Tornado Cash virtual currency mixer, which has been used to launder stolen virtual currency, including for North Korea’s Lazarus Group.

ICBA Position: ICBA last week told the Treasury Department that protecting national security and implementing anti-crime measures should be primary drivers of cryptocurrency policymaking and regulation. Reflecting previous ICBA calls for regulators to prioritize national security in new crypto rules, ICBA noted that bad actors still use Tornado Cash despite it being federally sanctioned.

More Resources: Earlier this year, ICBA published a series of blog posts on volatility in the stablecoin market, including the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin, its impact on financial markets, and how it affects community banks and the regulatory debate.