Bitcoin (BTC-USD), the largest cryptocurrency by market value, briefly crossed the $19,000 mark on Thursday following favorable December inflation data. Additionally, investors cheered news that an FTX attorney told a U.S. bankruptcy court about the crypto exchange recovering over $5 billion in liquid assets.
“We have located over $5 billion of cash, liquid cryptocurrency and liquid investment securities,” FTX’s attorney Andy Dietderich told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey in Delaware, per Reuters. Dietderich added that FTX plans to sell nonstrategic investments worth $4.6 billion in book value. However, Dietderich said that the actual customer shortfall remains unknown.
According to the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission, over $8 billion of customer funds are missing. Meanwhile, on Thursday, FTX’s disgraced former CEO and co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried denied stealing funds in an online post on Substack.
“I didn’t steal funds, and I certainly didn’t stash billions away,” wrote Bankman-Fried. Furthermore, he stated that FTX’s sister company Alameda Research collapsed as it was not “adequately hedged” for the crypto market crash. Bankman-Fried was released in December 2022 on a $250 million recognizance bond. Earlier this month, he pleaded not guilty to eight federal charges, including fraud and money laundering. His trial will begin in October 2023.
Last year, soaring interest rates impacted investors’ appetite for risky assets like crypto. Bitcoin has fallen more than 55% over the past year. Moreover, the collapse of FTX has sparked concerns about the numerous risks associated with the crypto market, further weighing on Bitcoin and crypto-based stocks. The 0.1% decline in December Consumer Price Index (CPI) has fueled hopes of less aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, which is favorable for crypto and growth stocks.