It’s Sam Bankman-Fried’s moment. The FTX and Alameda Ventures golden boy put both of his companies in a winning position and seems to be carrying the spoils away. The recent Forbes piece about secretly insolvent exchanges puts it best, “Like J.P. Morgan during the stock market panic and crash of 1907, Bankman-Fried is taking advantage of the crypto chaos to expand his empire.” Rumors about his involvement in engineering the “crypto chaos” appear to be greatly exaggerated.
“Over the last few weeks, the crypto market has been trending down. The contagion effect of the Terra/ Luna extinction event rocked every company out there, most of all those who offered yield on cryptocurrency deposits like BlockFi and Celsius and hedge funds like Three Arrows Capital. These companies’ problems and possible liquidation of assets, in turn, sent the crypto market into even more turmoil.”
In the Fobes piece, speaking about BlockFi and Voyager’s bailouts, they paint a similar picture with a crucial difference. Here, Bankman-Fried is performing a sacrifice:
“Between FTX and his quantitative trading firm Alameda, he provided the companies with $750 million in credit lines. There is no guarantee that Bankman-Fried will recoup his investment. “You know, we’re willing to do a somewhat bad deal here, if that’s what it takes to sort of stabilize things and protect customers,” he says.”
And, as you can read, that’s according to Bankman-Fried himself. A few lines below, the article casts doubt on his assessment, “Bankman Fried’s cash infusions are far from altruistic. He has emerged as a smart vulture capitalist in the beleaguered crypto market, knowing full well that his own fortune depends on its healthy rebound and growth.”
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Bankman-Fried Sets Sight On Small Exchanges And Miners
The rumor that FTX is looking for a way to acquire Robinhood circulated today. The Forbes article elaborates on that subject. “Bankman Fried has also bought into crypto brokerage Robinhood, where FTX has already accumulated a 7.6% stake, and is rumored to be considering an acquisition.”
Not only that, Forbes estimated that there are more than 600 crypto exchanges in the world. Then, they quote Bankman Fried claiming, “there are some third-tier exchanges that are already secretly insolvent”. Is the implication that his two companies are considering buying some of them? Maybe. However, Bankman Fried will be picky about exactly which ones:
“There are companies that are basically too far gone and it’s not practical to backstop them for reasons like a substantial hole in the balance sheet, regulatory issues, or that there is not much of a business left to be saved.”
In a strange turn of events Bankman-Fried, one of Proof-Of-Stake’s biggest proponents, expressed interest in “crypto miners”. Even stranger, the article then proceeds to list two bitcoin mining companies. Who introduced the word “crypto” in the conversation, Bankman-Fried or Forbes?
“Bankman-Fried also has his eye on crypto miners, many of whom leveraged their balance sheet at breakneck pace to quickly scale and take advantage of this 21st century digital gold rush. The stocks of publicly-trading crypto miners including Marathon Digital Holdings and Riot Blockchain are down more than 60% year to date.”
Finishing With Tether For Some Reason
Without warning or apparent reason, the Forbes article ends with Sam Bankman-Fried’s thoughts on Tether. “I think that the really bearish views on Tether are wrong…I don’t think there is any evidence to support them,” he says.
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