Ex-FTX Execs Launch Exchange Amid Fraud Allegations


Can Sun, a former general counsel of FTX and key witness in the trial of its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, has launched a new crypto platform called Backpack that pledges transparency. The beta version of the platform is expected to launch soon. Backpack Exchange is banking on a system that requires multiple parties to approve transactions, thus giving users more authority and visibility over their assets.

The project is being operated by Dubai-based startup Trek Labs and led by Sun and Armani Ferrante, another ex-FTX employee. They are driven by the vision of restoring trust in the crypto market, utilizing lessons learned from the collapse of FTX. The new approach aims to mitigate the risks associated with centralized control over funds, a significant concern highlighted by the FTX incident.

Backpack Exchange has a valuation goal exceeding $100 million for a 10% stake. Besides Sun and Ferrante, several other former FTX employees have roles in the platform, including Sun’s former deputy, Claire Zhang. In September 2022, Ferrante’s company raised $20 million in an investment round hemmed by FTX, but all the funds were lost following the fall of FTX.

Sun has been transparent regarding his role at FTX and cooperated with Dubai’s regulatory bodies. On Oct. 19, he testified against Bankman-Fried, and signed a nonprosecution agreement with U.S. authorities. His testimony lends credibility to the new endeavor.

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