In all, Bankman-Fried committed about $1 billion, a staggering sum to be risking—even for someone worth $10 billion—in the midst of a crypto rout that’s wiped out $2 trillion in market value in only eight months. To his legions of hardcore fans, this is further proof that SBF, as they all call him, is the patron of crypto, a benevolent, deep-pocketed investor and philanthropist who’s defending the industry in its time of greatest need.
Perhaps. An alternative interpretation is that Bankman-Fried’s wheeling and dealing have revealed the full scope of his plans to dominate the crypto industry. Just like other financial barons before him—John Pierpont Morgan a century ago and Warren Buffett in modern times—he’s exploiting the bad fortune of rivals to expand his empire on the cheap. And if there’s an element of saving the industry to the bailouts he’s arranging, it’s because the crisis, if big enough, will ultimately imperil his core businesses, too.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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