On this episode of The Wiser Crypto Investor Podcast, Casey Smith and Robert Swarthout talk about the latest drama with FTX and discuss why it only took 4 days for SBF to be extradited.
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The Charges Against Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF)
Although we wish it would be over, the conversation around FTX and SBF is continuing to swirl. SBF was arrested on December 12th, 2022 in the Bahamas and has since been extradited to the US. It was uncovered recently that all the funds from FTX were getting put through directly to Alameda. This information shows that this whole mess wasn’t really an accident.
The charges being brought on him through the SEC are for securities fraud, specifically around the lies he told the investors coming into FTX, not the customers. This is interesting because no one is really coming out and saying customers should be taken care of first. This just goes to show how dangerous or risky this all is right now for investors.
SBF was arrested in the Bahamas and the rumor was that he was going to fight the extradition to the US. There were a lot of bets going on along the lines of how long he would make it before he was extradited. Most people thought it would be around two weeks or so – then it only took four days. The prison he was being held at in the Bahamas is one of the top 5 worst prisons in the world, so this could have played a part in why he didn’t fight very hard.
The DTCC, or the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, do the settlements of essentially all US equities and bond trading. They announced a couple weeks ago at a conference that they’ll be using a system from R3, a UK-based company, along with their legacy systems and they have seen great results. There has been rumor of this forever in the crypto space, and in the crypto world, settlement of stocks and bonds and other equity type stuff is almost like a holy grail moment if it does end up coming to fruition.
Binance.us recently won the auction rights to purchase the assets out of bankruptcy for Voyager. Voyager was one of the two companies that FTX had originally won out of bankruptcy. They obviously went back into bankruptcy because of the whole FTX mess. Once the case closes, the Voyager customers will be able to get their assets via Binance.us. This in some ways could set up what will happen to the FTX customers depending on how the courts and companies handle everything. The Binance CEO claims that they are also looking at other assets to buy.
Negativity around Crypto
This whole mess has caused a lot of negativity to swirl around the crypto space. It’s hard to predict the future of crypto, but what we can say is that crypto is already a risky asset class. For investors and managers of crypto, it’s important to know that there will be bumps along the way. It could also be an opportunity for new investors because crypto is so low right now. In the last few weeks, crypto has dropped tremendously. This could be because of many different factors at play, but it’s hard to tell. The first half of 2023 will probably be pretty similar to the environment right now. If there starts to get resolution in the SEC v Ripple case, that could help, but we really have to wait and see.
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