Young Platform on the FTX collapse
“FTX never passed Young Platform’s due diligence checks and we have never had any dependence on FTX. AUM are safe,” guarantees Italy’s largest exchange
The crisis affecting the FTX exchange was triggered by revelations concerning the balance sheet of Alameda, a company founded by CEO Sam Bankman-Fried
Turin, the 10th of November 2022 – The liquidity crisis that hit the FTX exchange, one of the largest in the world, has caused an earthquake in the cryptocurrency sector. However, it is one of a different nature than the collapse of LUNA at the beginning of the year. It is related to the particular condition of the companies FTX and Alameda Research.
The management model represented by Young Platform, Italy’s leading exchange community, differs markedly from what emerged from press reports concerning FTX and Alameda. This can be traced back to the managerial activities of Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of FTX as well as founder of Alameda. The latter company was dedicated to hedge fund and trading activities, and was also previously administered by Sam Bankman-Fried.
“FTX never passed Young Platform’s due diligence checks and we never had any dependence on FTX, so our clients’ Assets under management are safe. Moreover, the FTT token was not even listed on our platform, which means that no Young Platform client has lost money in connection with the FTX affair,” assures Mariano Carozzi, president of the Italian cryptocurrency trading platform, which has over one and a half million members.
FTX and Alameda Research were not as separate as advertised, according to news site CoinDesk, who had learned about Alameda’s balance sheet, causing solvency doubts to arise. This revealed that Alameda’s main asset was the FTX exchange’s token FTT, worth about $3.86 billion out of $14.6 billion in total assets.
Not only that, but the third largest asset was USD 2.16 billion of ‘FTT collateral’. This is therefore a huge component of the balance sheet, but what matters more is the quality of the asset. Not only did half of the balance sheet come from their own centralised entity, but it was linked to an illiquid token whose intrinsic value is almost impossible to calculate. Moreover, in the last period, the exchange had been active in acquiring companies in crisis. So, the balance sheet shows the consequences of these purchases, which may have been economically advantageous but financially very demanding.
“Young’s economic situation is very different, we have recently strengthened our capital endowment with a significant capital increase underwritten by leading Italian institutions, the working group and our business organisation. Moreover, we have never been attracted by financial transactions that, even if advantageous, were nevertheless risky”. This was highlighted by Andrea Ferrero, CEO of Young Platform, referring to the financing round led by Azimut in June and in which a pool of investors participated, including Banca Sella and United Ventures.
Young Platform represents a principled model for managing cryptocurrencies in a secure manner that is beneficial to customers and the company itself. The platform’s goal is to provide access to state-of-the-art crypto products while maintaining a conservative approach to business operations, security and financial resilience. This approach is also embodied in our choice of excellent partners, even at this difficult time for the market, such as our industry-leading custody service Fireblocks.”“Bitcoin is experiencing a moment of high volatility in the short term, but as an asset it does not change its intrinsic value and this makes us confident, despite everything,‘ Carozzi concludes. ‘In addition to the turbulence and inflation of the period, our industry has to deal with regulatory and normative uncertainties that still need to be remedied by institutions, in order to reward quality operators. The great virtue of cryptocurrencies so far has been their ability to learn from their mistakes and strengthen themselves accordingly. We believe that the best players will be rewarded in any regulatory and market environment’.