Ex-FTX Execs Team up to Build New Crypto Exchange 12 Months After FTX Collapse – A group of ex-FTX executives, led by former FTX lawyer Can Sun, has joined forces to establish a new cryptocurrency exchange in Dubai. Their primary emphasis is addressing FTX’s shortcomings by prioritizing the secure handling of customer funds. Trek Labs, Can Sun’s Dubai-based startup, secured a license in late October to provide cryptocurrency services in the region, operating under the name Backpack Exchange.
Can Sun will be backed by support from Armani Ferrante, a former FTX employee who now serves as the CEO of Trek’s holding company in the British Virgin Islands, as reported by the Wall Street Journal on Nov. 11. Ferrante is also responsible for managing Backpack, a cryptocurrency wallet integrated into Backpack Exchange. Claire Zhang, Sun’s former legal deputy at FTX and Ferrante’s wife, holds a position on Trek’s executive team.
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However, the Wall Street Journal indicates that once Trek secures an investment round, Zhang plans to step back from the company, as she has been contributing her efforts without compensation to assist in “bootstrapping the exchange.” Sun and Ferrante emphasized their intention to apply the insights gained from FTX’s failure in safeguarding customer funds.
The technology employed by Backpack provides a self-custody solution that incorporates a multiparty computation (MPC) technique, ensuring the security of funds. In MPC, multiple parties participate in approving a transaction before any funds are transferred. It will also enable Backpack customers to verify funds whenever they want, Sun told WSJ: “In a post-FTX world, you need trust and transparency to create a true alternative to the other players.”
Backpack Exchange is presently in beta, with a broader launch scheduled for later this month, according to the company’s statement. Can Sun, who testified at Bankman-Fried’s recent fraud trial, disclosed that the former FTX CEO sought legal justification from him regarding FTX’s funds at Alameda Research. Bankman-Fried was found guilty on all seven fraud-related charges. Sun resigned as FTX’s general counsel the day after Bankman-Fried informed him about the use of customer funds.