FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been shopping for bargains amid the industry’s recent carnage and said he still has cash to spend if opportunity knocks.
It may seem strange. Other multibillion-dollar crypto giants spiraled into bankruptcy this year. FTX’s main competitor, Coinbase, has seen its shares plunge 70% and has laid off a fifth of its workforce as crypto prices crashed.
Yet, FTX is somehow emerging as an industry lifeline.
The 30-year-old billionaire says it was a result of stashing away ample cash, keeping overhead low, avoiding lending and being able to move quickly as a private company.
“It was important that the industry get through this in one piece,” Bankman-Fried told CNBC in an interview at FTX headquarters in Nassau, Bahamas.
“It’s not going to be good for anyone long term if we have real pain and real blowouts — it’s not fair to customers and it’s not going to be good for regulation.”
The crypto industry saw billions of dollars wiped out during the weeks surrounding the implosion of cryptocurrency Terra USD and the failure of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.
Lenders with exposure to Three Arrows were the next domino to fall. In July, FTX signed a deal that gives it the option to buy lender BlockFi after providing a $250 million line of credit.
FTX also extended $500 million to struggling Voyager Digital, which later declared bankruptcy, and was in discussions to acquire South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb.