The Bahamas is scrambling to guard its reputation as FTX, a crypto exchange headquartered in its territory, collapses amid accusations that it has cheated its investors out of billions of dollars.
The Securities Comission of the Bahamas, which regulates the local financial market, asked FTX to keep all of its digital assets in the government’s wallet.
“The regulatory actions were necessary to protect the interests of customers and creditors,” the Commission of the Bahamas said in a press release.
The tiny Caribbean country claims to have frozen the assets of FTX, but authorities didn’t make it clear which ones are under its control.
The Bahamas was the first country in the Caribbean to regulate crypto trading, a move which paid off more than expected. FTX moved its global headquarters to the island in September 2021, and an increasing number of its citizens began buying into cryptocurrencies.
What was considered an accomplishment a year ago has now turned into a headache for the government, leaving the Bahamian regulator with the herculean task of explaining to US courts the operations of FTX, whose founder is on the run.
FTX had announced it committed $60 million to build its headquarters, but the costruction, which included a flashy groundbreaking ceremony, stopped soon.
Bahamian opposition leader Michael Pintard recently held a press conference demanding an investigation into whether the government accepted donations or bribes from the crypto exchange.