The new poster child for the toxic cocktail of technology and debt is Sam Bankman-Fried, with his imploded FTX and Alameda empires. Sure, these companies misappropriated, to put it nicely, customers’ assets. And yes, withdrawals that acted like a bank run drove the company into Chapter 11. But the company’s original sin was to borrow against its own FTT token, which was held up by nothing but air.
This was crypto’s mass delusion. FTT was so thinly traded that FTX could set any price, but not forever. FTX and Alameda borrowed against tokens they themselves were manipulating, including Solana and others, which some called Sam Coins, now Scam Coins. The fatal conceit: They thought FTT would stay high forever, so they invested in often illiquid positions. FTX was even paying employees, vendors and whoever else would take it in FTT tokens, whose total market cap used to be almost $10 billion and is now about $400 million.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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