SBF Was Looking for an Opportunity to Meet the New FTX CEO
Former CEO and founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), tried to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the current CEO of the crypto exchange, John Ray, just weeks after he was charged with fraud. According to recently released emails provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office, the SBF has said it wants to assist with the client asset recovery process where possible. On December 30, he asked if Ray's team was responsible for the divestment of assets from Alameda Research, which he had previously read about in the media, and commented on this information: “If this is your team moving the assets to custody, great! If not, I worry it might be a hacker — possibly the same one as a month and a half ago.” The mysterious cracker did withdraw $500 million from FTX shortly after the company filed for bankruptcy in November. It is noteworthy that before the publication of this letter, Ray stated that the SBF had not yet given him any details about the bankruptcy, which he does not yet know. However, in early January, Sam contacted FTX US General Counsel in what the government saw as an attempt to influence the testimony of potential witnesses. The SBF lawyer said it was just a harmless attempt to help with the bankruptcy process. By the way, earlier Sam criticized Ray, as well as the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, for trying to extort as many commissions as possible in the bankruptcy process.
Shoba Pillay Talks About the 'Very Dark' Side of Celsius
An independent expert, Shoba Pillay, in her giant 689-page report on the work of the bankrupt crypto lender Celsius, indicated that the company operated very differently from how it advertised itself, and that part of the business was run in the “best traditions” of a ponzi scheme. According to Pillay, Celsius used customer funds to support the price of the company's own CEL token. Notably, even Celsius employees, such as coin design specialist Dean Tappen, have described the strategy as “very ponzi-like.” The company also sold CEL in private over-the-counter transactions and repurchased the same amount in public markets to drive up prices. Pillay describes a number of other ways in which Celsius promoted its own token, including time purchases and placing limit orders. Meanwhile, former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky sold more than $68 million worth of CEL tokens from 2018 to 2022 despite publicly stating during his AMAs (“Ask Mashinsky Anything,” as he called them) that he accumulated native coins of the project. Celsius co-founder David Leon and former CTO Nuke Goldstein also cashed in about $10 million and $2.8 million during the same period, respectively. We also learned that Celsius also used new client deposits to fund client withdrawals, which spiked in intensity in the three days before withdrawals stopped. “If Celsius had not instituted the pause and the run on the bank continued, new customer deposits inevitably would have become the only liquid source of coins for Celsius to fund withdrawals.” — Pillay said. The report also claimed that Celsius suffered more than $800 million in unrecorded losses in 2021 due to investments in Grayscale, KeyFi, Stakehound and Equities First Holdings.
One Word on the Topic of the Day: Michael Berry's Tweet Stirred Up the Crypto Community
The other day, a well-known American investor, Michael Berry, wrote a tweet in which he expressed his attitude to the current state of the markets in just one word. Berry simply urged investors to sell their assets without going into details. However, this harsh and unfounded warning has already sparked heated debate among investors and traders in the crypto space. Many are wondering if a well-known investor thinks the current crypto rally is coming to an end and if they should take his advice to liquidate their holdings. Berry, who founded the hedge fund Scion Capital in 2000, is well known for his unconventional investment strategies. He was able to spot a market mispricing and was willing to bet big against the consensus. Today, Berry continues to invest and manage money, but he has not been on the information agenda for a long time. Is his tweet "foreshadowing" a massive market event? Well, in the same way that any other tweet is such an omen.