FTX's Affiliate Sues Grayscale to Recover $250M for Customers and Creditors

Tuesday, 07/03/2023 | 14:10 GMT by Solomon Oladipupo
  • FTX accused Grayscale of exorbitant fees and redemption ban.
  • Meanwhile, a federal appeal court hears Grayscale's case against the SEC on Tuesday.
FTX

Alameda Research, the cryptocurrency trading firm affiliated with bankrupt digital exchange FTX, has filed a lawsuit against crypto asset manager Grayscale, FTX said in a statement. The once-leading crypto exchange alongside other affiliated debtors is seeking to “realize over a quarter billion dollars in asset value for FTX Debtors’ customers and creditors.”

Additionally, they are asking for injunctive relief to unlock $9 billion or more in value for shareholders of the Grayscale Bitcoin and Ethereum Trusts. These trust funds track the price of Bitcoin and Ether.

The development comes a month after the Digital Currency Group (DCG), a digital asset conglomerate and the parent company of Grayscale, started selling the crypto asset manager's holdings in several investment vehicles at a steep discount to raise capital for its bankrupt lending business.

FTX Accuse Grayscale of Exorbitant Fees, Redemption Ban

In the statement released on Monday, FTX alleged that Grayscale over the last two years has charged over $1.3 billion in exorbitant management fees, thereby contravening the agreement of its trust funds. The struggling cryptocurrency exchange also alleged that for years Grayscale has been preventing shareholders from redeeming their shares by making 'contrived excuses'. As a result of these developments, FTX noted in the statement, the Grayscale Bitcoin and Ethereum Trusts’ (GBTC) shares now trade approximately 50% lower compared to their daily net asset value.

“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,” John J. Ray III, FTX’s new CEO and Chief Restructuring Officer, said in the statement.

Furthermore, FTX in the statement noted that its customers’ shares would be worth approximately 90% more, that is at least $550 million, if Grayscale cut down its fees and halted “improperly preventing redemptions.”

However, a Grayscale spokesperson described Alameda Research's lawsuit as "misguided." "Grayscale has been transparent in our efforts to obtain regulatory approval to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF – an outcome that is undoubtedly the best long-term product structure for Grayscale’s investors," the spokesperson told Finance Magnates.

"We remain confident in the common sense, compelling legal arguments that will be argued tomorrow before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” the spokesperson added.

Appeal Court Hears Grayscale’s Case against SEC

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Tuesday that the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in Washington today will hear Graysacle’s case against the United States Securites and Exchange Commission (SEC) for throwing out its application to launch a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF ).

The outlet noted that the crypto asset manager’s legal team are set to argue that the SEC acted arbitrarily by turning down the firm’s application when it had previously sanctioned BTC futures EFTs.

Currently, the SEC opposes the offering of cryptocurrency products to United States citizens, categorizing them as securities. The securities regulator is presently at loggerheads with companies, such as Ripple, Robinhood and Terraform Labs.

Alameda Research, the cryptocurrency trading firm affiliated with bankrupt digital exchange FTX, has filed a lawsuit against crypto asset manager Grayscale, FTX said in a statement. The once-leading crypto exchange alongside other affiliated debtors is seeking to “realize over a quarter billion dollars in asset value for FTX Debtors’ customers and creditors.”

Additionally, they are asking for injunctive relief to unlock $9 billion or more in value for shareholders of the Grayscale Bitcoin and Ethereum Trusts. These trust funds track the price of Bitcoin and Ether.

The development comes a month after the Digital Currency Group (DCG), a digital asset conglomerate and the parent company of Grayscale, started selling the crypto asset manager's holdings in several investment vehicles at a steep discount to raise capital for its bankrupt lending business.

FTX Accuse Grayscale of Exorbitant Fees, Redemption Ban

In the statement released on Monday, FTX alleged that Grayscale over the last two years has charged over $1.3 billion in exorbitant management fees, thereby contravening the agreement of its trust funds. The struggling cryptocurrency exchange also alleged that for years Grayscale has been preventing shareholders from redeeming their shares by making 'contrived excuses'. As a result of these developments, FTX noted in the statement, the Grayscale Bitcoin and Ethereum Trusts’ (GBTC) shares now trade approximately 50% lower compared to their daily net asset value.

“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,” John J. Ray III, FTX’s new CEO and Chief Restructuring Officer, said in the statement.

Furthermore, FTX in the statement noted that its customers’ shares would be worth approximately 90% more, that is at least $550 million, if Grayscale cut down its fees and halted “improperly preventing redemptions.”

However, a Grayscale spokesperson described Alameda Research's lawsuit as "misguided." "Grayscale has been transparent in our efforts to obtain regulatory approval to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF – an outcome that is undoubtedly the best long-term product structure for Grayscale’s investors," the spokesperson told Finance Magnates.

"We remain confident in the common sense, compelling legal arguments that will be argued tomorrow before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” the spokesperson added.

Appeal Court Hears Grayscale’s Case against SEC

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Tuesday that the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in Washington today will hear Graysacle’s case against the United States Securites and Exchange Commission (SEC) for throwing out its application to launch a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF ).

The outlet noted that the crypto asset manager’s legal team are set to argue that the SEC acted arbitrarily by turning down the firm’s application when it had previously sanctioned BTC futures EFTs.

Currently, the SEC opposes the offering of cryptocurrency products to United States citizens, categorizing them as securities. The securities regulator is presently at loggerheads with companies, such as Ripple, Robinhood and Terraform Labs.

About the Author: Solomon Oladipupo
Solomon Oladipupo
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About the Author: Solomon Oladipupo
Solomon Oladipupo is a journalist and editor from Nigeria that covers the tech, FX, fintech and cryptocurrency industries. He is a former assistant editor at AgroNigeria Magazine where he covered the agribusiness industry. Solomon holds a first-class degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the University of Lagos where he graduated top of his class.
  • 1050 Articles
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