Former colleagues of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) may already be preparing for life after his recent conviction. This follows after the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently named employees of the defunct FTX exchange and its research arm Alameda Research in a report. Per the report, two individuals identified as Can Sun and Armani Ferrante, are working on a new exchange that is called Backpack Exchange.
Can Sun is a former FTX general counsel while Ferrante also worked as a software developer at Alameda. According to the WSJ, the duo have launched a crypto exchange of their own that is based in Dubai.
Interestingly, the development comes only a few days after Bankman-Fried was found guilty on all seven charges against him.
In an earlier report, the WSJ claimed that Can Sun, who was also a key witness during SBF’s trial, had earlier partnered with Ferrante to start Trek Labs in Dubai. Although Sun is the founder of Trek Labs, Ferrante also founded Backpack – originally a digital wallet company.
However, their partnership now means that Backpack will be incorporated into the exchange. That is, Trek Labs will carry out its business operations under the Backpack Exchange name. Additionally, Ferrante will also take up the CEO role of Trek Labs’ holding company in the British Virgin Islands
Recall that just last week, Trek Labs obtained a Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) license. With this, the exchange has the permission to carry out virtual assets activities within the emirate.
Backpack Set to Do Things Differently
It might be interesting to note that those running the affairs of Backpack Exchange intend to take a cue from FTX. In line with this, the new exchange will run on a technology that allows users to self-custody their funds. That means that nobody but the user may have access to their crypto wallets.
Per the WSJ report, the new exchange is planning to launch in beta before November runs out. However, it is also looking to sell a 10% stake that would bring its valuation to over $100 million.
Further plans for the new exchange, including its executive team are also taking shape quickly. Sun has hired his former legal deputy, Claire Zhang. However, Zhang, also Ferrante’s wife, has revealed that she would like to leave once the investment round is done.