FTX Users Seek Return of Crypto Assets, Not Dollars

Ruholamin Haqshanas

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| 2 min read

FTX Users Seek Return of Crypto Assets

In a collection of letters, FTX users around the globe have asked for their crypto assets instead of being reimbursed with US dollars.

In letters submitted to the federal judge presiding over the criminal case against Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the crypto exchange, FTX users expressed the desire to receive their cryptocurrencies back. 

They said that they had invested in quality projects and made long-term investments with the hope of changing their lives. 

However, their dreams were shattered when their investments were allegedly stolen by Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX. 

One victim, a 24-year-old from Australia, wrote to the judge, expressing the impact of the loss: “This would have paid off very well for me, had Sam not stolen my investments from me.”

Crypto Assets Held on FTX Represented Their Property

Another victim from Turkey detailed the specific coins they held, such as CEL, DOGE, LTC, LUNC, TRX, and XRP, at the time of the bankruptcy petition in November 2022. 

They emphasized that their assets were not merely dollar amounts but represented their property. 

“In the end, my 2 bitcoins are my property, it’s not $140,000 or $32,000, it’s 2 bitcoins,” they wrote.

The sentiment of wanting their assets returned is echoed by victims worldwide. 

An individual from Italy demanded the return of their assets, expressing their preference for their original coins rather than receiving dollars. 

These letters, known as victim impact statements, serve the purpose of helping the judge determine the appropriate sentence for Bankman-Fried.

The emotional, physical, and financial toll experienced by the victims is palpable in their statements. 

A person from Venezuela revealed the loss of their life savings, which, though not in the millions, was significant enough to cover basic needs and provide an opportunity to relocate to another country. 

In hindsight, some victims regretted their decisions to engage in more speculative investments or to borrow money for cryptocurrency ventures.

Among the testimonials, one Canadian couple shared their investment of CAD $100,000 in FTX, driven by the ubiquitous presence of the brand name. 

A computer science professor disclosed that they had not only invested their savings but also borrowed $220,000 in personal loans to buy Bitcoin on the FTX platform.

Users Ask for Severe Sentence

While some individuals acknowledged their own mistakes, such as investing in “sh*tcoins,” they did not directly place blame on Bankman-Fried. 

However, others demanded justice and called for a minimum sentence of 30 years, highlighting the significant impact his actions had on their lives and the lives of thousands of others.

“when I took over as CEO, there were only 105 bitcoins left on the FTX exchange, against customer entitlements of nearly 100,000 bitcoins. Why were the bitcoins missing? A jury has concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Bankman-Fried stole them and converted them…” pic.twitter.com/Xys4ABkl2S

— JgaltTweets (@JgaltTweets) March 21, 2024

If Bankman-Fried receives the maximum sentence of 50 years, it would essentially equate to a life sentence, as he would be 82 years old by the time it concludes, assuming he serves the full term.

As reported, John Ray III, the CEO and restructuring officer of FTX, has criticized an attempt made by Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers to reduce his sentence, emphasizing that the victims of the fraud “have suffered and continue to suffer.” 

On Wednesday, Ray penned a victim impact statement, addressing Judge Lewis Kaplan on behalf of FTX and its “millions of creditor victims.” 

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