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FTX Defrauded Fairness Buyers Equally to Enron

This put up will focus particularly on FTX and their responsibility to shareholders. I consider that is the only and clearest proof of fraud, though there are actually many others.

FTX raised cash in a collection of funding rounds. In 2021 alone, they raised greater than[$1.4B in two major funding rounds (Jul and Oct](https://www.crunchbase.com/search/funding_rounds/area/organizations/funding_total/ftx-exchange)). Buyers included business giants like Sequoia, SoftBank and VanEck.

Though these VC corporations clearly did minimal Due Diligence, FTX offered them a Revenue/Loss assertion for monetary 12 months 2021 the place [they posted a net profit of $388m](https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/20/ftx-grew-revenue-1000percent-during-the-crypto-craze-leaked-financials.html):

Let’s [recall this story from Coindesk](https://www.coindesk.com/enterprise/2022/12/02/alameda-research-shouldered-ftx-loss-of-up-to-1b-following-clients-leveraged-trade-in-2021-ft/).

It seems that FTX misplaced $1 billion in a single exploit in 2021. An exploit that allowed a nasty actor to take an enormous place on MOB PERP. Then they manipulated the worth increased by an element of ~20. This meant their account briefly had an unrealized achieve within the billions. We are able to see on Coingecko this exploit occurred in April 2021:


They used this unrealized achieve to collateralize large withdrawals, roughly $1b+. Very shortly after, the worth of MOB crashed again down. There was no liquidity for his or her place to be liquidated, leaving the account with a ten digit adverse steadiness.

That is clearly an exploit in opposition to the FTX alternate. It needs to be included on their financials as an working loss. Nevertheless, as an alternative of letting it hit the books of the FTX Alternate enterprise, they as an alternative transferred the adverse steadiness / place to Alameda. By doing this, the loss now not seems as an working loss from FTX, as an alternative it seems as a loss for Alameda.

This has main implications. To begin with, losses have worth to companies. They can help you offset good points and cut back your taxes. If your enterprise suffers a loss, the loss sucks, however the caveat is that you should utilize that loss in opposition to future income to scale back your taxable earnings. So a respectable motive has no motivation to “conceal” a loss.

The explanation you conceal a loss is to make your enterprise seem extra worthwhile than it truly is. Trying on the timeline of occasions, the $MOB exploit was early 2021. FTX raised capital in July 2021, October 2021, and January 2022. That means, in all of those funding rounds, FTX was grossly overstating their profitability and success.

As we famous above, FTX reported a $388M internet earnings for 2021. This quantity would have swung to a lack of $600M+ if the $MOB exploit have been included. Consider, 2021 was the very best 12 months in crypto’s historical past. Coinbase posted large income. In some ways, this was the “dream” 12 months for cryptocurrency. So for your enterprise to be shedding massive quantities of cash in a raging bull market, it lays out a reasonably grim image going ahead.

It is fairly apparent that SBF and FTX moved losses off the books of FTX with a view to entice a a lot increased valuation. There additionally would have been purple flags if an alternate posted a substantial loss in a bull market. It probably would have led to extra skepticism of their monetary scenario, and their function because the “crypto savior” popping out of the LUNA collapse, the place they bailed out corporations like BlockFi and Voyager.

That may have been a lot more durable to abdomen in the event that they have been working at an enormous loss. Additional, Alameda’s financials have been hidden from FTX traders. Because it was thought of an unrelated enterprise, Alameda and different associated corporations have been used to guide big losses that probably originated from FTX operations:


This Forbes article suggests the carried ahead losses have been truly a lot increased than simply the $MOB exploit. In hindsight, this appears extremely believable, since FTX is brief about $8-10B to their depositors. Keep in mind, that does not even embrace the $1.8B+ FTX raised in fairness rounds. Their losses far exceed their shortfalls to collectors.

Allow us to recall the Enron fraud and what led to their conviction:


* Enron was an vitality firm that started to commerce extensively in vitality derivatives markets.
* The corporate hid large buying and selling losses, finally resulting in one of many largest accounting scandals and chapter in latest historical past.
* Enron executives used fraudulent accounting practices to inflate the corporate’s revenues and conceal debt in its subsidiaries.


TL;DR FTX manipulated their monetary statements to cover large losses from traders. They used subsidiaries and different corporations below administration management to cover losses, virtually precisely as described within the Enron scandal.

10 thoughts on “FTX Defrauded Fairness Buyers Equally to Enron”

  1. IMO, Alameda actually never lost any money (or lost a minor %age of the total value) gambling customer funds.

    FTX had some internal issues in 2021 in MOB exploit, and also, some other ventures and projects that FTX actually invested in. Now, FTX used customer funds (which they were not supposed to) in investing in coins thinking that in a bull market, it’s always PROFIT. But, tables turned and they lost in a lot of their ventures due to either rug-pull or due to bear market.

    They basically got the most greedy during the peak, just like all of us, thinking BTC $100K EOY2021.

    They hid the loss in two ways, as they can’t show on FTX balance sheet (as it is not legal for an exchange to invest customer funds).

    1. Transferring loses to Alameda, as it was an investing firm. Alameda also tried to cover the losses by opening long position on LUNA, which again turned out bad for them.
    2. They sold (transferred) their BTC to Alameda research, and they actually gave Paper BTCs to customers. SBF confirmed this theory on a recent AMA. I posted it on reddit too.

    This is the most logical explanation as far as the evidence suggests. Let’s see if we get any clarity on the situation.


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