Major Media Objects to Withholding Identities of Non-US FTX Customers

Major Media Objects to Withholding Identities of Non-US FTX Customers

Several major media outlets, including Bloomberg, Financial Times, The New York Times, and Dow Jones & Company, have objected to the request for anonymity by FTX's non-U.S. customers in its ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. In an April 4 filing to the Delaware Bankruptcy Court, the media outlets opposed the redaction of customers' names, claiming that the press and public have a "presumptive right of access to bankruptcy filings." FTX and its customers have not been able to justify such secrecy, the media outlets argued, as the names of creditors are routinely disclosed in bankruptcy proceedings.

The Ad Hoc Committee of Non-US Customers of FTX.com filed a request on December 28, 2022, claiming that revealing the names and personal information of non-U.S. customers puts them at risk of identity theft, targeted attacks, and other harm. Judge John Dorsey allowed the redaction of customers' names and addresses for another three months on January 11, citing concerns for creditors' safety.

According to the media outlets, the magnitude of FTX's collapse has generated considerable public interest in the U.S. legal system's handling of the largely unregulated cryptocurrency market. The names of FTX's creditors have been kept under seal so far, obstructing reporting and analysis of the proceedings and leaving creditors and the public in the dark about the enforcement of bankruptcy laws in the cryptocurrency context.

Crypto lending platform Celsius attempted to keep its customers' names confidential during its bankruptcy proceedings but failed to persuade the judge, resulting in the disclosure of the personal details of thousands of customers on October 5, 2022. The upcoming hearing on April 12 will determine whether the anonymity of FTX's non-U.S. customers will continue to be protected or be made public.

 

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