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Alameda Research Takes High Ground, Sues Grayscale

Alameda Research is playing crypto vigilante by suing Grayscale over locked bitcoin Trust shares

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Alameda Research is suing Grayscale Investments over locked Bitcoin Trust shares.

In a statement on Monday, new FTX boss John J Ray III said Grayscale had an "improper redemption ban" that prevented customers from retrieving their money.

Ray now hopes that the new lawsuit will help to recover funds for FTX's own customers.

"FTX customers and creditors will benefit from additional recoveries, along with other Grayscale Trust investors that are being harmed by Grayscale's actions," Ray continued.

FTX alleges that Grayscale extracted "$1.3 billion in exorbitant management fees in violation of the Trust agreements.”

The defunct exchange added that if Grayscale reduced its fees and stopped improperly preventing redemptions, FTX debtors' shares would be worth at least US$550 million, which is 90% more than the current value of its shares today.

FTX debtors are looking to unlock $9 billion or more in value for Grayscale shareholders.

Grayscale rejected the lawsuit as "misguided," adding that "Grayscale has been transparent in our efforts to obtain regulatory approval to convert GBTC into an [exchanged-traded fund] – an outcome that is undoubtedly the best long-term product structure for Grayscale’s investors."

Lesser of two evils

FTX and DCG (Grayscale's parent company) are both regarded as villains in the crypto scene. DCG's crypto broker Genesis filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

In a bankruptcy filing, Genesis listed over 100,000 creditors, with aggregate liabilities ranging from US$1.2 billion to US$11 billion. Genesis halted withdrawals in November, citing heavy exposure to 3AC and FTX.

Read more: Genesis Global Capital's Fall From Grace: Bankruptcy Filing & Billions in Liabilities

Meanwhile, at least $1 billion of client funds remain missing on FTX, which collapsed in November after Alameda's FTT reliance was revealed. FTX has since made efforts in redemption, acting as a (despised) crypto vigilante.

As of last month, FTX Japan users have been able to withdraw their money. On 22 February – the day after the platform was unlocked – FTX Japan announced users had withdrawn roughly JPY 6.6 billion (US$50 million) in cryptocurrency and fiat. Some 7,026 account holders moved funds from FTX Japan to Liquid, while 5,697 transactions involving cryptocurrencies and 1,947 instances of users withdrawing fiat were reported.

Read more: Crypto Currents: Coinbase, FTX, Spotify

Justice in the form of FTX winning a lawsuit would be a bittersweet victory for disgruntled FTX customers, but it could be the lesser of two evils.

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