Institutional top of mind | #4

Keep up with the top industry updates as we present bi-weekly market insights that are important to traders in the institutional space.

This week, Kelvin Lam, CFA, Head of Institutional Research for OKX, looks at one top-of-mind issue in this installment: the fallout (or lack thereof) from the court-approved FTX asset liquidation plan and three highlights from Token 2049 in Singapore.

Top of Mind: FTX liquidation and "buy the rumor, sell the news"


  • In the days leading up to FTX's court-approved asset liquidation plan on Sept. 13 (refer to charts below), the sentiment of the cryptocurrency market took a blow. Bitcoin experienced a momentary dip below the $25,000 psychological support level, and reached a three-month low. Other altcoins, especially FTX-associated tokens, took a plunge despite the absence of any negative fundamentals. This serves as an example of "Buy the Rumor, Sell the News" - a phenomenon often seen in the traditional financial world and is highly applicable to this event. Traders opened short positions on these digital assets on the rumor, causing selling pressure before the actual timeline granted by the court order. As these rumors faded, the selling pressure subsided, opening the door for traders to take profits in the lead-up to the actual "liquidation process."

Recent Performance of FTX Top Holdings (Rebased to 100) - Sept 25 1600x900-1

Source: Kroll

  • After delving into the details of the proposed liquidation plan, it becomes apparent that the plan may not carry the negative impacts initially perceived by the public. At its core, the plan is designed to safeguard the best interests of FTX debtors. Here are the key factors at play:

  • According to a court order filed on Aug 23rd, Galaxy Digital has been selected as an investment advisor to "time sales and choose trading venues and counterparties" in order to maximize the value of the digital assets. Staking and hedging (for BTC and ETH) are also allowed.

  • There's a weekly limit of $100M in sales (can be increased to $200M, subject to pre-approval), representing only 0.1% of the average weekly spot market volumes.

  • Sizable holdings like SOL and APT are heavily made up of vesting tokens that aren't immediately available for sale in open markets. The SOL vesting schedule runs through 2028, while the APT vesting schedule runs through Q4 2026.

  • Most of the assets are expected to be sold through OTC channels, similar to block sales commonly seen in the equity market. This helps minimize the impact on the asset's price.

  • Consequently, these FTX top holdings started bottoming out a day before the court's approval, only to gradually regain strength as the pessimistic sentiment surrounding this event began to wane (see chart below). A classic case of "Buy the Rumor, Sell the News".

Recent Performance of FTX Top Holdings (Rebased to 100) - Sept 25 1600x900

Source: TradingView

Top of Mind: dispatches from Token 2049


The FTX event from last November continues to cast a long shadow over the cryptocurrency market, leaving a lasting impact that resonates even ten months later. However, in sharp contrast, the recent occurrence of Token 2049 highlights the remarkable evolution and transformation that the crypto industry has undergone in just a year. Three distinct shifts are likely to last in the foreseeable future:

  • The East ascends: Token 2049 Singapore witnessed an extraordinary milestone with over 10,000 attendees, making it one of the largest crypto events worldwide. Notably, numerous senior executives from the West embarked on long-haul flights to be a part of it. This signifies the growing prominence of the East as a hub for crypto activities, attracting key players from around the globe.

  • The arrival of Old Money: A wave of traditional finance and Web 2 players has displayed a more assertive stance in the crypto space. These industry stalwarts have set up larger booths, brought influential speakers on stage, and are no longer mere spectators. Instead, they're actively formulating their strategies and venturing into the realm of Web3, signaling a significant shift in their approach.

  • Embracing the "real" frontier: Engaging dialogues revolve around leveraging blockchain and Web3 to address real-world challenges, making it more accessible for newcomers to the crypto sphere. Some examples like shifting towards building blockchain infrastructure that facilitates real-world adoption, generating yield through real-world assets (RWAs) in DeFi, and creating immersive Web3 games to captivate mainstream gamers.

This article may cover content on products that are not available in your region. It is provided for general informational purposes only, no responsibility or liability is accepted for any errors of fact or omission expressed herein. It represents the personal views of the author(s) and it does not represent the views of OKX. It is not intended to provide advice of any kind, including but not limited to: (i) investment advice or an investment recommendation; (ii) an offer or solicitation to buy, sell, or hold digital assets, or (iii) financial, accounting, legal, or tax advice. Digital asset holdings, including stablecoins and NFTs, involve a high degree of risk, can fluctuate greatly, and can even become worthless. You should carefully consider whether trading or holding digital assets is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. Please consult your legal/tax/investment professional for questions about your specific circumstances. OKX Web3 features, including OKX Web3 Wallet and OKX NFT Marketplace, are subject to separate terms of service at
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