In early November, Adrian Butkus, a 43-year-old father of two, put $600,000 — much of his life savings — into an account at BlockFi, a cryptocurrency trading firm. BlockFi had marketed the account as risk free, yielding 6.5 percent interest, more than Mr. Butkus could get anywhere else.
Just days later, as the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX shook the entire crypto industry, Mr. Butkus asked BlockFi for his money back. But the firm had suspended customer withdrawals, citing its close financial ties to FTX. By late November, BlockFi, too, had filed for bankruptcy.
Mr. Butkus doesn’t know when — or if — he will see his money again. He is one of millions of individual investors around the world who poured money into digital assets, believing the cryptocurrency industry was a stable financial system. They were cleareyed about the volatility and big price swings of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. But what has come as a big surprise to many is that the firms where they deposited their money lacked the basic protections offered by a brokerage or a bank.
Source: Small Investors Who Jumped Into Crypto on FTX Say, Now What? – The New York Times