FTX creditors claim their ‘Sam Coins’ aren’t worthless—and are asking a bankruptcy judge to overrule the company’s own valuation

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As customers of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX try to claw back some of their lost funds, one group is demanding hundreds of millions of dollars for their so-called “Sam Coins.” 

Investors in Serum, MAPS, and OXY tokens are asking the judge who’s overseeing the bankruptcy case to overrule company experts who say the coins are nearly worthless, and require FTX to raise their valuation of them, Bloomberg reported.

The customers and FTX are set to make their final arguments to Judge John Dorsey in a Delaware federal court on Tuesday.

FTX has about $6.4 billion in cash to pay back creditors, the company has told the court, meaning many claims are likely to be paid back in full. In the online marketplace for trading these claims, the asking price has risen from 10% of the original value in November 2022 to 97%, according to data from Claims Market. These claims consist of U.S. dollars, Bitcoin, and other prominent cryptocurrencies.

But holders of Sam Coins have a tougher case to argue. Serum, MAPS, and OXY are trading at around 6 cents, 4 cents, and 8 cents, respectively, according to CoinGecko data. At their respective peaks, before FTX blew up in November 2022, Serum, MAPS, and OXY listed at $13.78, $2, and $4.16.

While CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried created Serum and took control of the other two tokens, according to court filings.

Bankman-Fried was convicted of fraud for transferring customer assets to his own hedge fund, which used them for risky investments. The tokens in question were dubbed Sam Coins because they became inextricably linked with Bankman-Fried and played an important role in that scheme, bankruptcy officials have argued.

When the company filed for bankruptcy in November 2022, it held more than 95% of all the tokens. This exceeds the amount that could ever have been sold, plus the tokens had become closely associated with the disgraced CEO, the company argued in a court filing. Advisers to FTX have requested that Dorsey grants their estimate that the coins are worth no more than a few pennies each.

But creditors who own the tokens are contending such a valuation method is flawed and presented in court this week calculations that show them to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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