FTX Japan users will be able to withdraw funds from February

The FTX logo on a laptop screen.

Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Japanese FTX users can start moving their funds out of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange from February, according to a statement from the company’s Japanese subsidiary.

FTX Japan said Thursday it was developing a system to resume withdrawals through the website of Liquid Japan, a crypto exchange it acquired earlier this year. Customers can view their balance on Liquid Japan and then withdraw their money.

“We deeply apologize for causing our customers great concern and inconvenience due to the long-term service disruption,” the company said in a Japanese-language blog post on its website, translated by Google.

FTX Japan set out a timeline for restoring client funds, beginning with opening a Liquid Japan account in mid-January, transferring assets from FTX Japan to Liquid Japan, and reopening withdrawals by mid-February.

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It comes after FTX Japan on 12/1 confirmed with FTX Group lawyers that “Japanese client funds and cryptocurrencies should not be part of FTX Japan’s estate given how these assets and ownership interests are held under Japanese law will”.

The news offers some relief for FTX clients. FTX customers worldwide have been unable to access their funds since the company went bankrupt last month and suspended withdrawals. FTX’s new caretaker, John J. Ray III, has said the company’s international clients should expect to get less from bankruptcy court than U.S. clients.

Founded in 2014, Liquid was acquired by FTX in February for an undisclosed sum as part of its expansion into East Asia. It had previously been hacked in a major crypto cyberattack worth more than $90 million. Sam Bankman-Frieds FTX, which styled himself as the savior of struggling crypto firms, then provided $120 million in debt financing to Liquid.

Separately, the Securities Commission of the Bahamas said Thursday it had seized $3.5 billion worth of crypto assets from FTX “for safekeeping” and is awaiting direction from the country’s Supreme Court to release the funds to clients and return creditors or liquidators.

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