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FTX's crypto customers in Japan can now get their frozen money back as it starts allowing withdrawals

According to US prosecutors, up to $3 billion in FTX customer funds are missing.NurPhoto/Getty Images
  • FTX customers in Japan can now start withdrawing funds from the bankrupt crypto exchange.

  • It's the first time FTX crypto investors have been able to recover money locked in since November.

  • The crypto exchange's Japan subsidiary said users can transfer crypto and fiat to the Liquid platform from Tuesday.

Collapsed crypto exchange FTX's customers in Japan can now get their frozen money back, as the local subsidiary becomes the first to restart withdrawals.

It's a rare case of customers being able to recover funds that have been locked on the crypto exchange's platform since it imploded in November.

FTX Japan said it would resume the service at noon on Tuesday in Tokyo, allowing users to take out crypto and regular currencies. It follows through on the Japanese exchange's pledge in December that it was working on unfreezing the funds.

Customers will need to confirm their balance and then transfer their assets to the Liquid platform, acquired by FTX Japan last year.

"Please note that due to the large number of requests from customers, it may take some time for the withdrawal process to be completed," it said in a statement.

"We will announce the resumption of other FTX Japan services as soon as possible."

FTX customers have been desperately trying to get their money off the crypto exchange after the once-$32 billion empire filed for bankruptcy in November. Its shocking collapse reverberated through the entire industry and has left the whereabouts of up to $3 billion in customer funds in the dark.

In some cases, users  have attempted to use Bahamas-based non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, to get their money back. In other instances, users have bribed FTX employees to change details in their account information that would allow them to withdraw funds.

FTX Japan closed its business just days before the company as a whole filed for bankruptcy. The subsidiary is now up for sale as the crypto group's new executives try to raise cash.

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and ex-CEO of FTX, is happy to see the Japanese exchange moving forward, and "continues to maintain that the US entity can and should do the same as soon as possible," his spokesperson Mark Botnick told Bloomberg.

Bankman-Fried is currently under house arrest at his parents' $4 million property in Palo Alto, California. He has pleaded not guilty to numerous US criminal charges against him, including money laundering and wire fraud.

Read the original article on Business Insider