Blockchain.com, Gemini, and the Sequoia-backed contracts-trading platform Kalshi are among those showing interest in buying FTX’s LedgerX, Bloomberg reports.
Why it’s the BFD: LedgerX is one of the few pieces of the FTX empire that still has value in the eyes of would-be buyers, in large part due to its licenses.
Background: FTX US acquired LedgerX last year as those licenses would be the first step toward allowing the exchange to offer crypto derivatives —a highly lucrative product— in the U.S.
- The licenses are expensive due to a lack of supply. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has approved few, with only 15 organizations in the U.S. currently holding the right documents to be considered a Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO).
- FTX US paid just under $500 million for LedgerX, according to Axios’ Dan Primack.
- LedgerX is also among the few solvent pieces of the FTX empire.
Of note: Gemini has separately been awaiting approval on its Designated Contract Markets license — another CFTC-regulated one that LedgerX also already holds — since 2020.
- Which shows just how painful it can be to get these approvals through direct channels.
The big question: Will the licenses get discounted in a fire sale?