FTX Staff Lost ‘Significant Portions’ of Net Worth on Exchange

A former FTX executive said he sent $700,000 to the embattled crypto exchange just before it suspended withdrawals earlier this week


FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried | Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel


The meltdown of crypto exchange FTX is heavily impacting markets — but on a more personal level, employees who believed they worked for one of the most credible crypto platforms are reeling.

Zane Tackett, who was FTX’s head of institutional sales, resigned from the firm on Tuesday, but wanted to stay and help out where he could. But he was quickly booted from work platforms without warning.

“Went to check slack and noticed my account was deactivated. No heads up or anything, just suddenly lost access. Gmail and shit deactivated too. Was a pretty damn good [two] and a half years outside of the last week,” he tweeted.

Tackett held most of his crypto assets on exchange at FTX and claims he “lost a lot of money.” He didn’t specify exactly how much is still stuck there, just that he was down around 80%.

Although, he tweeted that he’d foolishly sent an additional $700,000 to FTX before the exchange paused withdrawals. Now, like most of its users, he isn’t sure if he’ll get it back.

“I had no idea we were in trouble before Sam’s tweet,” he told Blockworks in a message. When asked whether Bankman-Fried was saying or doing anything to reassure employees, Tackett said: “He’s not.”

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The former executive, who said he worked 17-hour days, added that others were more heavily impacted, many of them FTX employees who kept “significant portions” of their net worths on the platform.

Tackett informed VIP clients of his resignation this week, according to a message seen on Twitter. “We were assured in Slack channels from execs that FTX was solvent, had enough funds to cover customers assets plus additional funds in reserve, and that everything was all fine,” he tweeted.

FTX overnight opened up withdrawals for accounts belonging to residents of the Bahamas, where the firm is headquartered. It’s unclear exactly how many FTX staff reside there, and the company didn’t return Blockworks’ request for comment by press time.

FTX exchange collapse threatens effective altruists

The derivatives exchange had boasted a philanthropic arm called the Future Fund, which handed out grants and investments directed at serving future generations. But its members have now quit.

“We are now unable to perform our work or process grants, and we have fundamental questions about the legitimacy and integrity of the business operations that were funding the FTX Foundation and the Future Fund,” they wrote in a post dated Nov. 11. “As a result, we resigned earlier today.”

Among members who resigned was Will MacAksill, an influential figure in the effective altruism movement and Bankman-Fried associate, who tried to set up a meeting between the FTX CEO and Elon Musk for a “joint effort” to acquire Twitter.

They added it’s unlikely the fund will be able to execute commitments to grants already made. As of June this year, the fund invested $132 million across 262 grants and investments.  

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