Connect with us

Business

Crypto Exchange FTX Collapses, Files for Bankruptcy

Published

on

Crypto Exchange FTX Collapses, Files for Bankruptcy

FTX took less than a week to go from the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange to bankruptcy. The embattled cryptocurrency exchange sought bankruptcy protection.

On Friday morning, FTX, the hedge fund Alameda Research, and dozens of other affiliated companies filed for bankruptcy in Delaware. FTX US, which was not expected to be part of any financial rescue, was also included in the company’s bankruptcy filing.

According to the company, CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried has resigned. Bankman-net Fried’s worth was recently estimated to be $23 billion, and he has been a major political donor to Democrats. According to Forbes and Bloomberg, which closely track the net worth of the world’s richest people, his net worth has vanished.

“I was shocked to see things unravel the way they did earlier this week,” Bankman-Fried wrote on Twitter.

The unravelling of FTX is causing ripple effects. Companies that backed FTX are already writing down their investments. Politicians and regulators are increasing their calls for stricter regulation of the cryptocurrency industry.

And the latest crisis has put downward pressure on bitcoin and other digital currency prices. According to CoinMarketCap.com, the total market value of all digital currencies fell by about $150 billion in the last week.

The failure of FTX extends beyond finance. The company also had major sports sponsorships, such as Formula One racing and a deal with Major League Baseball. Miami-Dade County decided to end its relationship with FTX on Friday, which means the venue where the Miami Heat play will no longer be known as FTX Arena.

Mercedes announced that FTX would be removed from its race cars this weekend.

Semafor, the high-profile news startup run by former BuzzFeed editor-in-chief and New York Times columnist Ben Smith, was also an early investor for FTX and Bankman-Fried, as well as his brother.

VOR NewsSEC Investigating FXT

Bankman-Fried also has other issues. According to a person familiar with the situation, the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating FTX to determine whether any criminal activity or securities violations occurred. The person could not speak publicly about the investigations and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

The inquiry is focused on the possibility that FTX used customer deposits to fund bets at Alameda Research. Brokers in traditional markets are expected to keep client funds separate from other company assets. Regulators have the authority to penalize violations. When MF Global intermingled client assets with its own bets roughly a decade ago, it effectively failed for a similar practice.

FTX listed more than 130 affiliated companies worldwide in its bankruptcy filing. The company estimated its assets to be worth $10 billion to $50 billion and its liabilities to be worth the same amount. The company named John Ray III as its new CEO, a long-time bankruptcy litigator best known for having to clean up the mess left by Enron’s demise.

The bankruptcy of FTX will undoubtedly be one of the most complicated bankruptcy cases in recent years. According to bankruptcy lawyers, the company listed more than 100,000 creditors in its filing, and because all of its customers are effectively creditors because they deposited their funds with FTX, determining who is owed what will take months.

VOR News

Cryptocurrency Not Protected

Cryptocurrencies are not legally protected, and politicians on both sides have issued statements opposing any Lehman Brothers-style bailout for cryptocurrency investors.

“Unlike in a case where there is (security insurance in the case of a brokerage failure) or where the FDIC steps in with a bank failure, these customers are completely exposed,” said Daniel Besikof, a partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP, specializes in bankruptcy law.

After experiencing the cryptocurrency equivalent of a bank run, FTX agreed earlier this week to sell itself to larger rival Binance. Customers abandoned the exchange after becoming concerned about FTX’s capital.

The cryptocurrency community had hoped that Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, would be able to save FTX and its depositors. However, after reviewing FTX’s books, Binance concluded that the smaller exchange’s problems were too large to solve and backed out of the deal.

FTX is the latest in a string of disasters rocking the crypto industry, which is now under intense pressure from collapsing prices and circling financial regulators. Its failure is already being felt across the cryptocurrency universe.

Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm, announced Thursday that it is writing down its total investment in FTX of nearly $215 million.

VOR NewsBitcoin price drop

BlockFi, a cryptocurrency lender, announced late Thursday on Twitter that it is “unable to conduct business as usual” and has paused client withdrawals due to FTX’s demise.

BlockFi, bailed out by Bankman-FTX Fried’s early last summer, said it was “shocked and dismayed” by the news about FTX and Alameda in a letter posted late Thursday on its Twitter profile.

The company concluded by stating that future updates on its status “will be less frequent than what our clients and other stakeholders are accustomed to.”

Bitcoin fell immediately after the letter was published and is now trading below $17,000. Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, had been hovering around $20,000 for months before FTX’s problems were revealed this week, sending it briefly down to around $15,500.

Shares of Coinbase, a publicly traded cryptocurrency exchange, and Robinhood, an online trading platform, rose nearly 12%.

Meanwhile, institutional investors were already turning against cryptocurrencies before this week. Sam Bankman-FTX.com Fried’s abrupt demise may have permanently harmed their chances of inclusion in mainstream portfolios.

While there are still many industry zealots, many professional money managers believe the case for cryptocurrency as a portfolio diversifier or digital gold has been debunked. They claim that the losses are too great and the market structure is too risky.

“It has become clear that it will not find a home in institutional asset allocation,” Hani Redha, multi-asset portfolio manager at Pinebridge Investments in London, said. “There was a time when it was regarded as a potential asset class that every investor should include in their strategic asset allocation, and that is no longer the case.”

VOR News

Tiger Global and SoftBank are facing new FTX losses.

The recent explosions and scandals have demolished the key arguments of crypto supporters, effectively erasing the notion of Bitcoin as a safe haven in turbulent times. But none of those events, from the TerraUSD collapse to the Celsius bankruptcy, were as damning as the discovery that even FTX, once considered one of the most reliable names in crypto, was insolvent.

Salman Ahmed, the chief investment strategist at Fidelity International, which manages $646 billion from London, said the FTX collapse is “raising questions about the viability of the crypto ecosystem.” “It was always difficult to make a case for including crypto, but the setup has come under increased scrutiny.”

In February, his firm launched a Bitcoin exchange-traded product aimed at professional European investors. Since its inception, it has lost approximately 55% of its value.

Only a year ago, cryptomania was at its peak, with Bitcoin reaching $67,000. Bridgewater estimated in January that institutional investors owned 5% of Bitcoin.

Back then, frothy predictions were everywhere. JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote that Bitcoin could theoretically reach $146,000 in the long run by crowding out gold. According to a PWC survey conducted in April, 42% of crypto hedge funds expect Bitcoin to trade between $75,000 and $100,000 by the end of 2022.

Investors’ perspectives are becoming more restrained. In a recent report, Panigirtzoglou predicted that Bitcoin would return to its summer lows of $13,000. On Friday, Bitcoin was trading below $17,000.

“The argument for investing in cryptocurrency for diversification died a long time ago,” he said in an interview.

Bitcoin has previously crashed and recovered. Some believers believe market hubris is being flushed out, putting the industry on a path to maturity. According to Mike Cyprys, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, FTX’s problems may benefit established companies with a track record of risk management, such as the Nasdaq Stock Market and CBOE Global Markets Inc.

According to Mark Dowding, chief investment officer at BlueBay Asset Management, the case for Bitcoin becoming a digital gold version is bogus. He believes it’s only time before more investors flee and crypto prices plummet.

“It should have been obvious that an industry that was producing nothing, burning cash, and promising alluring returns was doomed to fail,” he said.

VOR News, Bloomberg, AP

Business

Toyota Recalls 280,000 Vehicles Because They May ‘Creep Forward’ In Neutral

Published

on

toyota

Toyota recalled approximately 280,000 pickups and SUVs in the United States because the engine may not fully disengage while in neutral.

“Certain parts of the gearbox may not immediately disengage when the vehicle is shifted to the neutral position,” the Japanese automaker stated on Wednesday. It said this allows some engine power to continue going through to the wheels.

As a result, the vehicle may “inadvertently creep forward at a low speed when it is on a flat surface and no brakes are applied, leading to an increased risk of a crash,” according to the manufacturer.

toyota

Toyota Recalls 280,000 Vehicles Because They May ‘Creep Forward’ In Neutral

Certain Toyota Tundra, Sequoia, and Lexus LX 600 cars made between 2022 and 2024 are being recalled. Lexus is Toyota’s luxury brand.

Toyota said it will notify owners of recalled vehicles in late April and update the gearbox software.

The business stated that the recall is one of three in the United States on Wednesday.

Toyota announced the recall of an additional 19,000 vehicles due to a software issue: “the rearview image may not display within the period of time required by certain US safety regulations after the driver shifts the vehicle into reverse, increasing the risk of a crash while backing the vehicle.”

toyota

Toyota Recalls 280,000 Vehicles Because They May ‘Creep Forward’ In Neutral

It noted that the safety recall applies to select Mirai and Lexus LS, LC, and ES models manufactured in North America between 2023 and 2024.

Additionally, about 4,000 Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid vehicles are being recalled due to safety concerns with the head restraints on rear fold-down seats, which “increase the risk of injury during certain collisions.”

Toyota is the world’s largest carmaker by sales, yet it risks becoming embroiled in safety controversies.

In December, it recalled approximately 1 million cars and SUVs in the United States owing to a potential fault that might cause the passenger airbag to fail to deploy in a crash.

toyota

Toyota Recalls 280,000 Vehicles Because They May ‘Creep Forward’ In Neutral

The recall affected 15 Lexus cars from 2020 to 2021, including the Camry, Rav4, Sienna, RX350, and ES350.

After admitting to forging safety test results for more than 30 years, Daihatsu, a small Japanese automaker under Toyota ownership, stopped domestic production late last year.

SOURCE – (CNN)

Continue Reading

Business

Walmart To Acquire Smart TV Maker Vizio For $2.3 Billion In Bid To Boost Its Advertising Business

Published

on

walmart

Walmart is paying $2.3 billion for smart TV maker Vizio to boost its quickly growing advertising business and compete with Amazon.

If the purchase is completed, Walmart will gain access to Vizio’s SmartCast operating system, allowing the retail juggernaut to offer its suppliers the opportunity to display adverts on streaming devices.

Walmart Connect, which provides marketers with access to Walmart’s large consumer base, has helped the company grow its media and advertising business. Walmart reported on Tuesday that its global advertising business increased by nearly 28% to $3.4 billion last year.

The developments follow Amazon’s announcement last month that it will begin charging Prime members $2.99 per month to keep their films and TV series ad-free, in addition to the $14.99 per month or $139 per year Prime price.

walmart

What does Walmart stand to gain from a television manufacturer?

Vizio’s SmartCast technology has 18 million active accounts and has increased 400% since 2018. The firms claim that Vizio’s platform has over 500 direct advertisers and that ads now account for most of the company’s gross profit.

In recent years, makers of streaming gear, such as Roku and Vizio, have moved their focus to advertising revenue. Vizio established its Vizio Ads business unit in 2019, claiming to be “one of the few connected TV companies with the device penetration, consumer opt-in, and infrastructure to deliver meaningful scale.”

Walmart saw Vizio’s growing consumer base and grabbed the opportunity to develop its Walmart Connect business.

“We believe the combination of these two businesses would be impactful as we redefine the intersection of retail and entertainment,” said Seth Dallaire, executive vice president and chief revenue officer at Walmart U.S.

walmart

Who else is ramping up screen advertising?

Other large streamers, such as Netflix and Disney, have embraced the dual model, allowing them to generate revenue from commercials while simultaneously allowing customers to opt-out for a higher charge.

However, in the ever-changing streaming industry, whether consumers are prepared to pay more to see fewer commercials when they already pay subscription fees, frequently for numerous providers, remains to be seen. Many consumers “cut the cord” and ditched cable TV because they were frustrated with their ever-increasing fees.

walmart

How did the companies’ shares fare?

Vizio stock rose about 15% in the afternoon, reaching $10.96 per share.

Walmart’s stock jumped 3.1% to $175.66 per share after exceeding Wall Street’s expectations with its sales and profit on Tuesday.

Roku, one of Vizio’s primary competitors, saw its stock drop 6.4% by midday.

SOURCE – (AP)

Continue Reading

Business

Sacked Twitter Staff In Ghana Finally Get Pay-Off

Published

on

twitter

X, then known as Twitter, has finally paid out the employees it fired from its African offices more than a year ago, according to the agency that represents them.

Most had just been with the social media network in Ghana’s capital, Accra, for a few months before they were let go in November 2022.

They had threatened to sue X for failing to pay the redundancy money they said they were promised.

twitter

Sacked Twitter Staff In Ghana Finally Get Pay-Off

The corporation has yet to respond.

X previously stated that it had paid ex-employees in full.

Elon Musk, who took over the corporation in 2022, launched a large global workforce layoff, dismissing almost 6,000 individuals. He said he was losing more than $4 million (£3.5 million) daily.

The African contingent, which numbered fewer than 20, had only recently relocated to X’s new office in

Accra after eight months of working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

twitter

Sacked Twitter Staff In Ghana Finally Get Pay-Off

Agency Seven, the organisation providing legal representation to the workforce, stated that it had successfully obtained a redundancy settlement and repatriation fees for foreign employees but did not indicate the payout size.

“They are very pleased to finally be able to get their due, put this behind them, and look forward to the future,” Agency Seven Seven spokesperson Carla Olympio told the BBC.

Last year, terminated employees told the BBC that their treatment at X had impacted their mental health and money.

“It’s difficult when it’s the world’s richest man owing you money and closure,” one of them stated.

They claimed they were initially assured that they would be paid to work for one more month while their contracts were being terminated. However, they were instantly shut out of their emails, and no more wage payments were issued.

Since then, the crew has reported a difficult battle for compensation.

Some had migrated from adjacent nations, such as Nigeria. Their contract was terminated, leaving them and their families stuck in Ghana.

In a rare interview with the BBC last April, Mr Musk revealed that the social media powerhouse had 1,500 staff, down from just under 8,000 when he bought the company.

twitter

Sacked Twitter Staff In Ghana Finally Get Pay-Off

When the news of Mr Musk’s extreme workforce reduction broke, he tweeted that laid-off employees received three months’ severance compensation.

However, staff members in the Africa office claim they still need this.

According to Agency Seven Seven, X only started negotiating with the terminated African staff after the BBC publicised the news.

Last year, ex-employees filed a complaint in a California court accusing X of failing to pay at least $500 million in promised severance benefits.

SOURCE – (BBC)

Continue Reading

Trending