FTX and Alameda have agreed to an “in principle” settlement with BlockFi, potentially paying up to $874 million, marking a significant development in the ongoing bankruptcy saga.

FTX and Alameda Research have reached an agreement to settle disputes with the crypto lender BlockFi, potentially paying up to $874 million. This settlement marks a pivotal step in the unfolding saga of the 2022 cryptocurrency market downturn that led to a series of high-profile insolvencies.

The settlement agreement, which is subject to court approval, was detailed in a filing on March 6, 2024, indicating a resolution that could lead to substantial recoveries for BlockFi’s customers. According to the terms, BlockFi is to receive an allowed customer claim of $185.2 million against FTX.com, representing the full value of its assets on the exchange, and a claim of $689.3 million against Alameda Research for loans provided by BlockFi.

BlockFi entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in November 2022, following the shock collapse of FTX earlier that month. The legal battles that ensued between BlockFi and FTX through 2023 reflected the intricate financial entanglements and the subsequent fallout within the crypto industry.

The proposed settlement is poised to treat $250 million of the total sum as a “secured claim,” offering BlockFi a prioritized payment after FTX emerges from bankruptcy. This amount is part of the funds owed to BlockFi by Alameda Research, with the remaining contingent on FTX’s ability to reimburse its own customers and other creditors.

The agreement was reached with the assistance of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey in Wilmington, Delaware, and involved early mediation that led to reduced litigation costs. The successful negotiation of this settlement underscores the complexity and interdependence of crypto financial operations, highlighting the risks associated with digital asset lending and borrowing.

As part of the agreement, BlockFi has agreed to drop its lawsuit regarding 56 million Robinhood shares allegedly pledged as collateral for loans to Alameda Research. This aspect of the settlement came after the U.S. Department of Justice seized these equity shares following the arrest of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

While the resolution represents a significant milestone for BlockFi, the broader implications for the crypto industry remain to be seen. The settlement may set a precedent for how crypto-related bankruptcy claims are handled in the future, especially those involving intertwined financial relationships between lending platforms and exchange entities.

BlockFi’s customers hold their breath as the confirmation of the agreement could enable withdrawals and potential recovery of assets. The BlockFi administration has expressed gratitude to customers for their patience and to the judicial system for facilitating a value-maximizing resolution.

As the cryptocurrency market continues to mature, the BlockFi settlement with FTX and Alameda Research serves as a reminder of the industry’s growing pains and the necessity for robust risk management practices.

Image source: Shutterstock


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