Disclaimer: This article may contain the personal views and opinions of the author.
Tuesday’s election night was not what anyone expected and especially not for one of the Democrat’s biggest donors.
Sam Bankman-Fried who some referred to as the next Warren Buffet lost close to 94% of his estimated $15.6 billion net worth that day. According to Bloomberg, that’s the biggest one-day collapse on record for a billionaire.
Bankman-Fried, 30, founded a Bahamas-based crypto exchange called FTX in 2019. By 2021, investors valued the company at $18 billion.
Earlier this year, the value more than doubled, when combined with its U.S. operations, bringing it up to $40 billion.
On Tuesday, Bankman-Fried announced that FTX was being sold to a rival company and biggest competitor Binance. Changpeng Zhao, the CEO, filled FTX’s need for a bailout.
According to a Wall Street Journal report:
“Crypto exchange FTX lent billions of dollars worth of customer assets to fund risky bets by its affiliated trading firm, Alameda Research, setting the stage for the exchange’s implosion, a person familiar with the matter said.
“FTX Chief Executive Sam Bankman-Fried told an investor this week that Alameda owes FTX about $10 billion, the person said.
“FTX extended loans to Alameda using money that customers had deposited on the exchange for trading purposes, a decision that Mr. Bankman-Fried described as a poor judgment call, according to the person.”
Bank-Fried issued a statement seemingly taking responsibility for the loss.
“I’m sorry. That’s the biggest thing. I f*cked up, and should have done better.
“FTX International currently has a total market value of assets/collateral higher than client deposits (moves with prices!).
“But that’s different from liquidity for delivery–as you can tell from the state of withdrawals. The liquidity varies widely, from very to very little.
“The full story here is one I’m still fleshing out every detail of, but at a very high level, I f*cked up twice.
“The first time, a poor internal labeling of bank-related accounts meant that I was substantially off on my sense of users’ margin. I thought it was way lower.
“So, right now, we’re spending the week doing everything we can to raise liquidity.
“I can’t make any promises about that. But I’m going to try. And give anything I have to if that will make it work.
Bankman-Fried said he’s in talks with a “number of players.” He also reassured his investors and employees that any money he can raise will go straight to them.
In a letter to investors, the FTX founder, wrote, “I’m sorry I didn’t do better, and am going to do what I can to protect customer assets, and your investment.”
Now the 30-year-old is being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. They are looking at potential violations of securities rules.
The SEC’s probe began months ago but has expanded in the last week. They are looking at whether or not FTX mishandled customer funds and reviewing the relationships with other businesses owned by Bankman-Fried.