A Fortune report published this Friday (22) revealed that, according to documents, Coinbase considered the possibility of buying FTX Europe after the FTX Group filed for bankruptcy protection in November last year.
The exchange’s objective with the acquisition was to develop crypto derivatives offerings around the world. According to documents accessed by Fortune, Coinbase expressed interest in FTX Europe both immediately after FTX’s bankruptcy and recently.
In early September 2023, a European exchange executive asked about the possibility of an acquisition. However, Coinbase appears to have completely backed out of an eventual acquisition deal.
Coinbase is interested in FTX Europe
Derivatives are financial instruments whose value derives from an underlying asset such as Bitcoin or Ether and are important in Coinbase’s portfolio. And until FTX’s collapse, FTX Europe was the only company licensed to offer a popular form of crypto derivatives, perpetual futures (perps), to the European market.
Then, this license caught the attention of potential buyers after the bankruptcy of FTX, which purchased the European unit at the end of 2021 for US$376 million. However, the FTX Europe license could only be transferred as part of an acquisition. As a result, companies like Crypto.com, for example, became interested in the purchase and, now, as Fortune revealed, Coinbase was also interested in the business.
“We are always evaluating opportunities to strategically expand our business and join many teams around the world,” a Coinbase spokesperson said in a statement shared with Fortune.
FTX Europe has become a flashpoint in the company’s bankruptcy process. Although the company made healthy profits, the entity became the target of the bankruptcy estate. In July, FTX debtors began legal action seeking to recover millions of dollars from FTX Europe executives.
“FTX Debtors are committed to maximizing the value of FTX assets to drive customer recoveries,” said a company spokesperson. “As such, FTX debtors continue to evaluate whether viable options exist for the sale of some or all of the assets of the FTX Europe business. This process remains ongoing.”