Former FTX Executives Join Hands to Build New Crypto Exchange 

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Key Takeaways 

  • Operating under Trek Labs, the startup received a crypto services license in October
  • Backpack Exchange is set for a broader launch later this month.

A group of former FTX leaders, led by ex-FTX General Counsel Can Sun is reportedly working on building a new crypto exchange. Can Sun, who testified against FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried at his criminal trial, is leading Backpack’s new crypto exchange, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Operating under Trek Labs, the startup received a cryptocurrency services license in October, emphasizing robust security measures after FTX’s historical challenges. 

Armani Ferrante, ex-FTX employee and current CEO of Trek’s holding company, and Claire Zhang, Sun’s former legal deputy at FTX, also play key roles. Addressing past vulnerabilities, Trek Labs aims to fortify customer fund security. 

Backpack Exchange integrates Backpack, a cryptocurrency wallet featuring a self-custody solution using multiparty computation (MPC) for enhanced fund security. Zhang, who has been assisting without pay, plans to step back after the upcoming investment round. Reportedly, the exchange hopes to sell a 10% stake to investors at a 100 million valuation.

Learning from FTX’s experiences, the team emphasizes heightened security features. Backpack Exchange, currently in beta, is set for a broader launch later this month.

Can Sun, a key witness in Sam Bankman-Fried’s recent fraud trial, revealed resigning as FTX’s general counsel after learning about the use of customer funds by the former FTX CEO. Bankman-Fried faced conviction on all seven fraud-related charges. Sun testified against SBF stating that he did not know that Alameda Research could take advantage of customer funds held on the crypto exchange. 

In FTX’s pursuit of compensating customers and recovering funds, the bankruptcy estate filed a lawsuit against crypto exchange Bybit for nearly $1 billion. Since FTX’s collapse in November 2022, the new leadership, under John J. Ray III, has taken legal measures to recoup funds from insiders, customers, and recipients of FTX’s investments.

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Saniya Raahath
Saniya Raahath

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