Emergent Bankruptcy

The recently filed bankruptcy case of Emergent Fidelity Technologies (“Emergent”) illustrates the complex interconnection between many of the major players in the crypto space and the disputes that can ensue.

What Happened?

Emergent is a company co-founded by former FTX executives Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang and is based in Antigua and Barbuda.  Emergent’s primary asset is approximately 56 million shares in the publicly traded retail investor app, Robinhood (currently, these shares are valued at nearly $600 million).  Emergent purchased the shares in April 2022 with funds borrowed from Alameda Research (an affiliate of FTX).   Separately, Alameda borrowed funds from crypto firm BlockFi and, in the days leading up to Alameda’s bankruptcy filing, owed $671 million to BlockFi.  Shortly prior to Alameda filing for bankruptcy, Emergent pledged its shares in Robinhood to BlockFi in exchange for BlockFi’s forbearance on the payments owed to it by Alameda.  In the following days, FTX, Alameda, BlockFi, and their numerous affiliates, all filed for bankruptcy.  What ensued is a series of disputes between Emergent, FTX, BlockFi, and each of the debtors’ various creditors as to who is entitled to Emergent’s shares in Robinhood.  Notably, the shares are currently in the custody of the United States Department of Justice, which seized the assets earlier this year.