While the fallen crypto exchange FTX and its disgraced former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried are serving flashbacks of Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheme, Shark Tank investor and crypto hypeman Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary has apparently made the firm decision to stick to the “it’s Binance’s fault” narrative.
O’Leary appeared Wednesday at the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs hearing on FTX’s collapse and alleged fraud. At the hearing, O’Leary shared his “opinion” on why FTX failed and said that the fallen crypto exchange and its largest rival, Binance, “were at war with each other and one put the other out of business intentionally.” And because FTX has fallen, Binance is now an “unregulated global monopoly.”
While Binance and its CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao arguably had a hand in the events that led to FTX’s implosion, O’Leary’s version of the story, as well as his written testimony were missing a few notable details, i.e. the alleged fraudulent business practices and misuse of billions of dollars of customer funds.
Sam Bankman-Fried is currently being held in prison in the Bahamas while awaiting extradition to the US where he’s facing eight counts of criminal charges, including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, among others. He is also facing charges brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
And yet, O’Leary, who admitted to being paid $15 million to become an FTX spokesperson, has been telling people the same narrative Bankman-Fried had been trying to sell to anyone who’d give him airtime. It’s almost like no one’s told him yet that Bankman-Fried had already been arrested.
In his written statement for the Senate, O’Leary continued to express his support for and faith in the crypto industry, and likened FTX to Enron, Bear Stearns, and Lehman Brothers in that its collapse, while painful to all those involved, is “nothing new” and does not change its “industry’s promise.”
Information for this briefing was found via Twitter, Forbes, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.