Timeline: The rise and spectacular fall of FTX

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FTX collapse: What's next for the cryptocurrency industry?

The crypto exchange was founded in 2019 and attracted big-name investors such as Singapore’s Temasek.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the collapsed FTX cryptocurrency exchange, has been arrested in The Bahamas after being criminally charged by prosecutors in the United States.

The 30-year-old was taken into custody in the Caribbean nation after US prosecutors notified them they had filed charges and planned to seek his extradition, the Office of the Attorney General of the Bahamas said in a statement on Monday.

The US has not elaborated on the nature of the charges.

FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US last month.

Here is a history of FTX since it was set up in 2019:

2019

May: Former Wall Street trader Sam Bankman-Fried and ex-Google employee Gary Wang found FTX, the owner and operator of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.COM.

2021

July: FTX concludes a $900m funding round, which values the exchange at $18bn.

September: FTX signs a sponsorship deal with the Mercedes Formula 1 team.

October: FTX raises capital at a valuation of $25bn from investors, including Singapore’s Temasek and Tiger Global.

2022

January 27:  FTX’s US arm puts its valuation at $8bn after raising $400m in its first funding round from investors, including SoftBank Group and Temasek.

 Sam Bankman-Fried with dark, curly hair and looking serious.
Sam Bankman-Fried founded the crypto exchange FTX in 2019 and went on to raise billions from prominent investors [File: Saul Loeb/AFP]

January 31: FTX raises $400m from investors, including SoftBank, at a valuation of $32bn.

June 4: FTX signs for naming rights for the home arena of basketball’s Miami Heat in a deal reportedly worth $135m.

July 1: FTX signs a deal with an option to buy embattled crypto lender BlockFi for as much as $240m.

July 22: FTX offers a partial bailout of bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital. Voyager calls it a “low-ball bid”.

August 19: A US bank regulator orders FTX to halt “false and misleading” claims it has made about whether funds at the company are insured by the government.

November 2: Crypto news website CoinDesk reports a leaked balance sheet that shows Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s crypto trading firm, was heavily dependent on FTX’s native token, FTT. The Reuters news agency was unable to verify the report.

November 6: Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao says his firm plans to liquidate its holdings of FTT due to unspecified “recent revelations”.

November 7: Bankman-Fried says “FTX is fine. Assets are fine”.

November 8: Binance says it is planning a deal to acquire FTX.

November 9: Binance decides against pursuing a bailout of FTX.

November 10:  FTX suspends onboarding of new clients as well as withdrawals until further notice. Bankman-Fried tells staff in a memo that he is scrambling to raise funds and has held talks with Justin Sun, founder of the crypto token Tron.

A basketball match underway at the FTX arena, home of the Miami Heat
FTX is thought to have paid $135m for naming rights at the home arena of the Miami Heat [File: Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters]

November 11:  FTX starts voluntary Chapter 11 proceedings in the US, along with its US unit, crypto trading firm Alameda Research and nearly 130 other affiliates. Bankman-Fried resigns as CEO.

November 12: Reuters reports at least $1bn of customer funds have vanished from FTX. The exchange says it has detected unauthorised transactions. Blockchain analytics firms estimate outflows between $473m and $659m in “suspicious circumstances”.

November 13: Bahamas securities regulators launch a probe over the collapse of FTX, which has its base in the Caribbean nation.

November 15: Financial regulators in the Bahamas appoint liquidators to run FTX’s unit in the country.

November 16: FTX outlines a “severe liquidity crisis” in US bankruptcy filings, which show the group could have more than 1 million creditors.

A court filing shows FTX’s Bahamas unit, FTX Digital Markets, is seeking protection from creditors in the US under Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code.

Bankman-Fried is sued in a US court by investors alleging the company’s yield-bearing crypto accounts violated Florida law.

Liquidators for FTX Digital Markets “reject the validity” of FTX’s US bankruptcy proceedings.

Major crypto player Genesis Global Capital suspends customer redemptions in its lending business, citing the sudden failure of FTX.

November 17: The US House Financial Services Committee says it plans to hold a hearing in December to investigate the collapse of FTX.

November 30: Bankman-Fried says in an interview at the New York Times Dealbook Summit that “he didn’t ever try to commit fraud”.

December 12: Police arrest Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas, with the US expected to file for his extradition. US authorities decline to comment on potential charges, but the New York Times reports the charges include wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA, REUTERS

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