Irish Crypto Titans Set to Launch Exciting New Exchange, Reveals WSJ

"Former FTX Executives Launch New Crypto Exchange Amidst Conviction of CEO on Fraud Charges"

Former colleagues of recently convicted Sam Bankman-Fried, Can Sun and Armani Ferrante, are embarking on a new venture in the crypto industry. Following Bankman-Fried’s conviction on seven counts of fraud, Sun and Ferrante have joined forces to establish Trek Labs, a crypto exchange based in Dubai. The company has obtained a license from the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), which oversees digital assets in the emirate.

Trek Labs was founded by Can Sun, while Ferrante serves as the CEO of its holding company in the British Virgin Islands. Ferrante is also the founder of Backpack, a digital wallet company that will be integrated into the exchange. Under the name of Backpack Exchange, Trek Labs will conduct its business. In September 2022, Backpack successfully closed a funding round worth $20 million, with FTX’s venture arm contributing half of the investment. Unfortunately, Ferrante revealed that he lost the majority of the raised funds when FTX collapsed.

Can Sun played a crucial role in Bankman-Fried’s recent criminal trial, serving as a key witness. Sun testified that he never approved the lending of customer funds from FTX to Alameda Research. He had been the general counsel for FTX from August 2021 until the exchange’s demise in November 2022. Sun’s credibility and involvement in the trial shed light on the fraudulent activities that led to Bankman-Fried’s conviction.

Backpack Exchange aims to differentiate itself from FTX by offering a unique approach to business. One significant distinction is that the exchange’s technology will enable users to self-custody their funds. This means that only the user will have access to their crypto wallets, ensuring enhanced security and privacy. With plans to sell a 10% stake, valuing the exchange at over $100 million, Backpack Exchange is set to launch its beta version later this month.

In addition to his collaboration with Ferrante, Can Sun has also brought on board Claire Zhang, his former legal deputy, to join Trek Labs’ executive team. Zhang, who is also Ferrante’s wife, will be involved in the company until the investment round is finalized. Sun’s strategic hiring decisions demonstrate his commitment to assembling a strong team for the success of Trek Labs.

The establishment of Trek Labs by Can Sun and Armani Ferrante marks a significant development in the crypto industry. Despite the recent conviction of their former CEO, these two individuals are determined to create a reputable and secure crypto exchange. With their expertise and the support of VARA, Trek Labs is poised to make a positive impact in the digital asset landscape.

Martin Reid

Martin Reid

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