Gianluca L. Fact checked by Gianluca L.
Updated: 18 march 2024
8 minutes

Shortly after its creation in 2019, the FTX exchange platform became one of the most important in the cryptocurrency world. However, a few years later, in November 2022, a cascading scandal and various rocambolic actions led to the platform’s demise. As promising as it seemed, the FTX exchange platform is now a thing of the past. In the meantime, most investors in this centralized exchange have yet to recover their funds, and several of the project’s founding members are facing significant legal dangers. Such is the case of founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Freid, or SBF, as his initials often know him.

As well as introducing you to the strengths of this CEX, we look back at the FTX scandal and the outcome of this monumental story, which will undoubtedly have shaken up the cryptocurrency world. If you want to know everything there is to know about crypto, it goes without saying that you need to be aware of this kind of bankruptcy, which has had such a profound impact on the history of new crypto technologies and all those involved.

ftx review 2023

Back in time: what is FTX?

Let’s start with an overview of the FTX exchange. What did this now inaccessible exchange look like, and what were its main features?


Prior to the notorious FTX affair, it was a cryptocurrency trading platform offering cutting-edge products including derivatives, options and leveraged tokens.

According to CoinMarketCap, the FTX exchange ranked (before its setbacks) 3rd among spot cryptocurrency trading platforms with a rating of 8.2/10, just behind the giants Binance and Coinbase.

At its peak, FTX had :

  • 1.2 million users
  • Daily transaction volume of around 1.75 billion euros (according to CoinMarketCap data)
  • Over 100 spot markets
  • More than 250 futures contracts

The FTX exchange offered various types of crypto-related products and services, including:

  • Buying and exchanging cryptos via the spot market and futures contracts
  • Crypto payments with the FTX Visa card
  • Receiving and sending crypto payments via FTX Pay.


  • Exchange closed


The founder of the FTX platform, Sam Bankman-Fried, is a former Wall Street trader. That’s why the platform billed itself at the time as “a crypto exchange built by traders, for traders.”

At the beginning of 2018, Sam Bankman-Fried first became interested in cryptocurrencies. He founded a crypto arbitrage start-up, Alameda Research, which quickly succeeded.

Building on this success, Sam Bankman-Fried aimed to democratize the cryptocurrency world. From this desire, the FTX platform was born on May 8, 2019, with Gary Wang as co-founder. The company’s headquarters are in the Bahamas, where Sam Bankman-Fried was actually arrested following his escape.

The FTX ecosystem: what did it look like?

Let’s take a look at the main components of the FTX ecosystem.

Crypto trading

FTX was, first and foremost, a trading platform. The exchange enabled two types of crypto trading via futures and spot contracts. Therefore, the exchange’s essence was found in the FTX “Market” tab.

FTX tokens (FTT) and staking

The platform’s governing token was the FTX token (FTT). It provided several benefits.

FTX card

Even today, cryptocurrency payment cards are becoming increasingly popular. FTX quickly jumped on the bandwagon, offering an FTX card in January 2022. Of course, this card is no longer in use.


Based on the same principle, the FTX Pay feature enabled users to securely receive or make payments in cryptocurrency or fiat. This feature opened up the ecosystem to individuals, professionals, and organizations wishing to use a reliable, fast, and secure solution.

Who is Sam Bankman-Freid?

Sam Bankman-Freid is the founder of the FTX platform. Considered one of the world’s most influential personalities, he has amassed a fortune estimated at $17 billion. He is the group’s central figure. In November 2022, he resigned from FTX Group following liquidity problems that later became solvency concerns. He lost his entire fortune in just a few hours and is now bankrupt. Following the FTX Group’s setbacks, it is said to have fled, claiming to be hiding for its safety.

The FTX platform -founded in 2019- quickly made its mark on the crypto landscape. At its peak, before its collapse, it was one of the main competitors of market leaders Binance and Coinbase. The FTX exchange specializes in trading various crypto derivatives. Here’s a look back at the downfall of this empire, finally built on a house of cards.

FTX collapse explained

If you want to know what happened to FTX, keep reading this paragraph! The FTX fraud case is a series of incredible discoveries. What day did FTX collapse? It all began on November 2, 2022. That day, Alameda Research, the investment fund established by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, confirmed that it could be insolvent if FTT (the FTX platform’s native token) lost value.

Binance founder Changpeng Zhao quickly announced that the FTT tokens held by his exchange platform would be put up for a gradual sale. At the same time, Alameda Research offered Binance to buy back its FTT tokens at $22 each. This offer was refused, leading to a 25% drop in the value of FTT.

This drop in value, in turn, led to a fall in Solana, in which FTX had invested. But that’s not all. Numerous companies and investment funds, which had invested massively in the FTX ecosystem, were caught in the trap. Binance offered to buy FTX while at the same time suspending withdrawals. In the end, Binance won’t save FTX; the entire ecosystem shook. The fall would be all the more terrible and dramatic for the leading players in the system, notably Sam Bankman-Freid, who would shortly receive the famous FTX lawsuit. Let’s look back at these events and the terrible losses that shook the crypto universe.

The pursuit of Sam Bankman-Freid and his associates

Very quickly and as announced below, Sam Bankman-Freid didn’t hesitate to jump off the sinking ship. He resigned as head of the FTX Group on November 11 2022, a few days before the group’s bankruptcy, owning over 130 companies worldwide. This action initially drew attention to possible wrongdoing on his part, and it didn’t take long for the innumerable major mismanagements at the head of the group to become apparent.

Subsequently, while FTX was in upheaval, SBF did not choose discretion. But it was not to be! While participating in specific conferences from the Bahamas, and despite the general opinion of his lawyers, he was soon considered responsible for the FTX empire’s bankruptcy.

On the run and unwilling to return to the United States to answer for his actions, even though, according to him, he had more than “a hundred thousand dollars in his account after the bankruptcy,” he was arrested by the Bahamian government, which also accused him of other illegal actions. His extradition was short in coming, and he accepted it on December 21, 2022, to the United States. On the same day, he returned to his home country, where he and his colleagues, Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, were charged with numerous offenses. While the latter has gradually negotiated with the local authorities to avoid harsh prison sentences, SBF has chosen to plead not guilty in the trial linked to the FTX bankruptcy. The trial was scheduled for October 2, 2023, and its founder faced up to 115 years in prison.

ftx bankrupt

A significant impact on the cryptocurrency universe and its approach

Even though they were not directly linked to FTX, many cryptocurrency companies were affected by this first significant media affair. Assets also fell sharply, and FTX’s bankruptcy remains one of the most critical events in the entire universe.

The Genesis company, known as the work of the Winklevoss brothers, whose story is linked to the creation of Facebook, declared bankruptcy in January 2023. It was one of many companies benefiting from certain FTX services, notably as lenders in the crypto universe.

However, and more surprisingly, some of the cryptocurrency world’s centralized yet usually so distant protagonists have also suffered in the wake of this tidal wave. We’re thinking logically of banks that have chosen to offer certain progressive functionalities in the direction of this decentralized world. The American Silvergate Bank, for example, lost two-thirds of its customers in one quarter.

FTX’s downfall was also highlighted by the millions lost by several sports stars who supported the project in its early stages. These include Tom Brady and his wife, Gisele Bündchen, Stephen Curry, and Shaquille O’Neal.

More generally, the impact on the industry was cataclysmic. However, jurisprudence brought new guarantees and the first laws worthy of the name to regulate and, above all, protect investors, particularly in Europe. In France, for example, since July 1, 2023, all digital asset service providers (DASPs) have had to undergo much more extensive registration with the financial markets authority to protect all potential customers and investors.

Sam Bankman-Freid ftx

An investigation that also points to bribery

In the United States, corruption is no laughing matter. Sometimes, there’s a fine line between bribery and donation, and this will be one of the main issues at the subsequent FTX trial, scheduled for October 2 of this year.

FTX has been quite generous over the years, particularly with members of the U.S. Congress. More than a third of its members have received a donation from the company, and Sam Bankman-Fried was the second largest personal donor to Joe Biden’s campaign for President of the United States.

While these payments may be considered legitimate or legal, it has already been established that FTX has paid bribes contrary to the law. FTX has already spent $40 million to Chinese officials to recover assets frozen in the past. This foreign bribery is one of the main charges against SBF.

FTX platform regulations

Let’s look at the various regulations surrounding the FTX platform before its bankruptcy and large-scale collapse. You’ll notice that, on paper, there was nothing to suggest such fraud since the FTX platform was regulated by reference organizations worldwide and, above all, considered reliable.

It’s important to note that the platform and its entire ecosystem were based in several locations, depending on the business divisions specific to different functions within the company. TX Trading Limited is now bankrupt and was based in Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda. FTX Digital Markets Ltd, a subsidiary of FTX Trading Ltd, was licensed under the Bahamas Digital Assets and Registered Exchange Act 2020 and regulated by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas.

There are far more reliable alternatives today, and eToro is one of them.


  • Number 1 copy trading platform
  • Integrated social network for traders
  • Trading cryptocurrency CFDs

As for FTX’s European branch, K-DNA Financial Services Ltd vouched for its security and reliability through its registration in Cyprus. FTX had obtained approval from CySEC, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (license number 273/15).

Finally, the FTX platform was not regulated in the USA. U.S. users had to use the FTX US platform, which was specifically designed to comply with the rather specific cryptocurrency guidelines of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

How secure is the FTX exchange?

A few years ago, the FTX platform was considered one of the most important in the cryptocurrency world, and it was entirely legitimate to think it was reliable. However, everything has changed dramatically, and FTX is no longer secure or accessible.

The company is bankrupt, the FTX scandal has gone viral, and the assets of thousands of users are frozen and probably lost forever. In December 2022, the company’s founder finally got caught for his flaws. At present, almost $9,3 billion has disappeared in asset value for investors who trust FTX.

If you want to invest in cryptocurrencies, remember that some platforms are reliable, and don’t hesitate to lay their cards on the table to reassure potential investors. Binance, for example, is a worldwide reference, and we frequently offer guides to the best crypto platforms so you can select the one best suited to your needs. The crypto world remains highly volatile, but some of the sector’s top performers do their utmost to enable you to invest reliably and securely.


  • Low fees
  • One of the largest crypto exchanges
  • Fee discount for using native BNB

Advantages and disadvantages of FTX

  • Please note: we no longer recommend FTX
  • Site inactive since FTX Group bankruptcy announcement
  • 10 to 50 billion dollars have disappeared
  • User funds still blocked

FAQs - Frequently asked questions about the FTX platform

Where is FTX based?

FTX was headquartered in Nassau, Bahamas. Before its collapse, the platform was recognized by CySEC in Europe.

Who runs FTX?

Sam Bankman-Fried was the creator and leader of FTX before its collapse. He is awaiting trial.

Why was FTX so popular?

The FTX platform offered many advantages, not least the ability to invest in crypto derivatives through options initially intended only for professional traders. Soon after its creation in 2019 and shortly before its collapse, the platform was the third largest in the world in terms of trading, if CoinMarketCap’s figures are anything to go by.

How can I invest in FTX?

You can no longer invest in FTX.

What's next for Sam Bankman-Fried?

Under house arrest in Palo Alto, “SBF” he attended the start of his trial in October 2023. The FTX founder is being prosecuted on a dozen counts in the USA alone, and could face up to 115 years’ imprisonment on US soil.    

Are the influencers who promoted FTX in danger?

In November 2022, a class action suit was filed in Miami against the founder of FTX, but also against several celebrities who have invested in or publicly promoted this platform. These include David Ortiz, Naomi Osaka, Tom Brady and Trevor Lawrence, all of whom are highly regarded and listened to in the USA. As for the rest, the trial scheduled for next October should shed light on the role of each and every one of these public figures, who have also lost a great deal of money in this downfall.