The collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange has had repercussions around the globe, with more than a million clients losing money overnight. In France, some 50,000 to 60,000 people were affected. As they look for legal solutions to get their money back, will the victims continue to invest in cryptocurrency?
Like hundreds of thousands of FTX customers around the world, Hassan, who lives in France, experienced a shock in early November.
“I’m crying,” he tweeted on 8 November, after FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tried to reassure everyone that the company based in the United States and the Bahamas was fine.
The next day, as the exchange started shutting down, Hassan wrote: “In one day I lost everything I had invested in one year. It’s terrible.”
Life savings gone
FTX was one of the largest digital currency exchanges, which allow users to trade cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, for conventional money or other digital currencies.
When FTX collapsed, at least a billion dollars of customer funds were frozen, and the company filed for bankruptcy on 11 November.
Overnight, Hassan lost 26,000 euros – his entire savings.
“It’s a very bad memory,” he told RFI.
In December Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and extradited to the US, where he was charged with fraud.
Lawyer Ronan Journoud has been advising some of the French victims who joined a support group on Telegram. He estimates there are about 55,000 French customers who lost money with FTX.
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