FTX Japan plans to resume withdrawals as early as February: Report

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s subsidiary in Japan, FTX Japan, reportedly plans to resume withdrawals for affected users as early as February.

According to a Feb. 17 report from Bloomberg, FTX Japan sent out notifications asking users to verify their account balances as part of the process to begin allowing withdrawals. Seth Melamed, chief operating officer of the exchange, reportedly said users could transfer assets to accounts on the FTX-owned Liquid Global platform, with withdrawals expected to begin “very soon.”

“We are confident that we will adhere to the timeline,” said Melamed.

FTX Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States in November 2022, a move that included three of the firm’s 134 subsidiaries — FTX Japan Holdings, FTX Japan and FTX Japan Services. However, Japan’s Financial Services Agency, or FSA, had requested FTX Japan suspend business orders prior to the U.S. bankruptcy filing.

Following an order from the FSA, FTX Japan submitted a plan in December 2022 in an attempt to resume user withdrawals. The plan suggested that FTX Japan customer assets should not be a part of the firm’s bankruptcy proceedings — essentially citing regulations that exchanges separate client funds from their own.

Related: FTX wants permission to sell FTX Japan and FTX Europe as well as LedgerX

News outlet NHK reported that FTX Japan had roughly 19.6 billion yen in cash — more than $138 million at the time — when it ceased operations in November. In contrast, debtors for FTX reportedly recovered more than $5 billion in cash and crypto as of January.