FTT has declined nearly 20% over the course of an hour, with Solana’s SOL down 17% and Serum’s SRM off 10%.
Fears over another meltdown similar to the crypto fund Three Arrows Capital‘s troubles earlier this year – but this time tied to billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange and his trading firm, Alameda Research – gripped digital-asset markets Tuesday morning Asia time, driving prices for token FTT down nearly 20%.
Data from CoinGlass shows that there continues to be building short bets on FTT as open interest in the crypto-derivatives market has surged 8% during the last hour to a total of $215 million.
The speculation over Bankman-Fried’s FTX started after CoinDesk reported last week that a notable portion of Alameda’s balance sheet was made up of FTT, which is the FTX exchange’s in-house token, and the Solana blockchain’s SOL.
Since then, the market has grown concerned about FTX’s liquidity. The exchange has faced a massive stablecoin exodus, with $451 million being sent off its main platform during the last week, and $15 million being pulled from its U.S. subsidiary, according to Nansen data. Currently, FTX has a balance of $59.2 million USDC and $28.5 million USDT, along with $8.6 million BUSD. FTX US has $41 million USDC, $12.8 million USDT, $39 million PAX, and $11.3 million BUSD available.
Interest rates on FTX’s margin lending platform have jumped, with the exchange now paying 10% for USDT compared to a previous lending rate of 5%.
Meanwhile, Binance has seen an inflow of $411 million in stablecoins over the last week, with a current balance of $26.7 billion.
While users have reported some delays on fiat currency withdrawals, FTX says that it is working through the backlog and they are still being processed. Bankman-Fried, who serves as FTX’s CEO, took to Twitter early Monday to say that the exchange was far from insolvent and there is no risk of withdrawals being halted.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has previously said that he plans to liquidate any remaining FTT on Binance’s books, but on chain data suggests that this hasn’t yet begun.
FTT is currently trading down 19% at $17.93. SOL is lower by 17% and Serum’s SRM token is down 10%. The action is spilling over into bitcoin (BTC) as well, which is down 5.6% to $19,650.
By: Sam Reynolds
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