FTX Faces Federal Probes as FTX Ventures, Alameda Sites Go Dark
- The websites of FTX Ventures and Alameda Research went offline today amidst FTX’s solvency issues.
- The takedown occurred around the time that Bloomberg reported an expanded regulatory probe into FTX.
- FTX is believed to be insolvent, and its survival depends on an acquisition from its competitor, Binance.
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FTX’s plight continues—two of its related websites have gone offline while the firm faces mounting regulatory scrutiny.
Alameda, FTX Ventures Go Offline
Two sites affiliated with FTX—those of FTX Ventures and Alameda Research—have gone dark as the embattled firms contend with outright collapse. Beginning around 7:00 PM UTC on Thursday, November 9, those websites were no longer accessible.
The first website affected by the takedown is that of FTX Ventures, the company’s venture capital arm. The second website affected was that of Alameda Research, a trading firm founded by FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
Employees were apparently not informed of the takedowns or any other rumors concerning the state of the companies. FTX Ventures executive Amy Wu said today that she is “finding out along with everyone else on Twitter.”
Both of the company’s cryptocurrency exchange websites, FTX.com and FTX.US, are still online. However, earlier reports suggest that customer withdrawals have been paused, and the company has since advised customers not to deposit any further funds.
The sites went dark within hours of reports that U.S. regulators are probing companies in the Bankman-Fried empire.
According to Bloomberg, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are investigating those firms in connection to the crypto lending liquidity crisis.
Though that probe began months ago, it has reportedly expanded recently as regulators have begun investigating the ownership structure of FTX.US and FTX.com. Regulators are examining whether there is overlap between company leadership, how the companies are financially related, the makeup of each company’s investor base, and whether user accounts are segregated.
It is unclear whether recent developments in that probe motivated today’s site takedowns. However, it is possible that regulatory and organizational concerns are at play, as the relationship between Alameda Research and FTX Ventures has attracted controversy in the past.
On the other hand, broader financial issues may have motivated the site takedowns. Alameda Research was reported to be “entirely illiquid” in early November. Meanwhile, discussions of FTX’s financial troubles began on Monday and have continued throughout this week.
The firm’s survival appeared to depend briefly on a last-minute acquisition deal from Binance; however, it was reported this afternoon that Binance would walk away from the proposed deal amid rumors that the company mishandled customer funds and after learning more about the state of its finances.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other digital assets.