The US government wants to take control of almost $700 million of assets tied to Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX which it has seized.

The founder and former CEO of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange is awaiting trial in October on eight charges of fraud and conspiracy, all of which he has denied.

He is accused of using billions of dollars of funds from FTX to cover losses at sister trading firm Alameda. Around $8bn of funds are estimated to be missing from FTX, which was valued at $32bn a year ago.

The assets seized include more that 55 million shares in trading platform Robinhood, worth about $525m, which were bought with money from Alameda and have been the subject of a tug-of-war between Bankman-Fried, FTX Group and bankrupt crypto lender BlockFi. 

Officials have also moved to take control of $171m in cash from a series of bank accounts, the most recent of which was $94.5m seized by the Department of Justice from an account at Silvergate Bank on Thursday. The account was associated with FTX Digital Markets, FTX’s subsidiary in the Bahamas, where FTX and Bankman-Fried were based.

Several Binance accounts have also been seized.

FTX says that around $415m of crypto has been stolen by hackers – $323m from its international exchange and $90m from its US platform – since the firm filed for bankruptcy in November.

In Crypto: FTX CEO ‘considers restarting collapsed exchange’

Cryptocurrency shorts

Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson is considering acquiring CoinDesk for $200m. Its parent company Digital Currency Group is exploring a sale following the bankruptcy filing of the lending arm of its crypto brokerage Genesis. “My interest on the media side is more broad… I would like to figure out how to get to journalistic integrity again,” he told a YouTube livestream. “[You can ensure fair and accurate reporting through] things like veracity bonds or other concepts where, when someone publishes something… they actually put money on the table, and if it turns out the thing that they’ve written isn’t true or inaccurate, they actually can lose the money.”

IBF Net has launched Netverse, the first metaverse on the Algorand blockchain and also the world’s first Shariah-compliant metaverse on any blockchain. It aims to become a major contributor to the move towards digitalisation in the Islamic world.

Previously crypto-friendly Signature Bank will no longer handle transactions of less than $100,000 for crypto exchange customers. It has been reducing its involvement in digital asset markets in recent weeks.

Following the FTX collapse, the global appetite from crypto investors for self-custody has more than tripled as people look to regain control over their assets, according to new research by crypto tax calculation service Recap.

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Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the 22,300 coins is at $1.05 trillion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 0.3% increase in the last 24 hours.

For round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments, click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.