New Exchange Launched by Former FTX Executives

One year after the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, a group of ex-executives from the firm has come together to create a new platform called Backpack Exchange. Their goal is to address the issues that led to the downfall of FTX.

Former FTX general counsel Can Sun, along with ex-employees Armani Ferrante and Claire Zhang, has announced the launch of Backpack Exchange. Zhang, who is Ferrante’s wife, and Sun’s ex-deputy, are part of the founding team.

Trek Labs Founder and Backpack Exchange Plans

Sun, the founder of Trek Labs, a startup based in Dubai, recently received an operational license from the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority of the United Arab Emirates. Ferrante, now the CEO of Trek’s holding company in the British Virgin Islands, also oversees Backpack, a platform that designs and operates crypto wallets. Zhang is part of the executive team.

Backpack Exchange will operate under the name Trek, and the exchange is offering a 10% stake to investors at a $100 million valuation.

Sun and Ferrante have also hired other former FTX legal and compliance employees to leverage their expertise. Zhang mentioned that she is currently working without pay to support the exchange and plans to transition out when Trek secures an investment round.

Features and Plans for Backpack Exchange

The exchange intends to prioritize the security of user funds, leveraging Backpack’s technology which allows users to hold their assets in self-custody crypto wallets. The exchange will not have access to these wallets.

The upcoming beta version of Backpack will feature wallets designed with multiparty computation techniques, requiring several parties to approve transactions. Sun and Ferrante highlighted that customers will be able to verify their holdings at any time.

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Despite the founders’ previous association with FTX, Sun emphasized that he was unaware of any mishandling of customers’ funds by SBF. He also shared that he resigned from FTX when he was asked to come up with legal justifications for the exchange’s funds being at Alameda Research following a $9 billion hole being revealed and the former CEO seeking emergency cash from investors.

Ahead of this launch, Sun had provided cooperation to prosecutors and assisted with the investigation that led to SBF’s prosecution.

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