- Kevin O’Leary yesterday blamed the collapse of FTX on Binance
- O’Leary said that Binance’s actions put FTX out of business, ignoring the actions of Sam Bankman-Fried
- O’Leary was paid $15 million to shill FTX and his motives are both disingenuous and transparent
Kevin O’Leary yesterday told the Senate Banking Committee that the collapse of FTX wasn’t down to hubris, unprofessionalism, or chronic mismanagement. Instead, he believes, the answer is a simple one – Binance did it. The incredible claim may seem outlandish, but it makes sense when you realize that O’Leary was paid $15 million to promote FTX, a deal for which he admitted he did no due diligence. O’Leary’s claims seem to be based around Binance’s decision to sell its holding of FTT tokens and then back out of a deal, but to pin the blame of the exchange collapse on the competition is both disingenuous and glaringly transparent.
Binance “Put FTX Out of Business”
In his written testimony to the Committee, O’Leary never mentioned Binance once, simply saying at the end that “we need to get to the bottom of what happened at FTX”, but at the hearing itself he pointed the finger squarely away from Sam Bankman-Fried and instead towards Binance:
…one put the other out of business, intentionally. Now, maybe there is nothing wrong with that, maybe there is nothing wrong with love and war, but Binance is a massive unregulated global monopoly now, and they put FTX out of business.
O’Leary is referring to Binance publicly selling hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of FTT tokens on the back of the initial concerns over Alameda Research’s funding, which helped to crash the price of the token, and for Binance then backing out of a potential deal to buy the exchange.
While this even may have been the match that lit the fuse, the pyre has been built steadily over the years by Bankman-Fried and his atrocious handling of the billions of dollars sloshing around FTX, which is why he has had multiple criminal charges laid at his door by American prosecutors and is currently in jail awaiting an extradition hearing.
O’Leary Risking Reputation
To suggest that Binance caused the downfall of FTX by selling a bunch of its tokens is a handing Bankman-Fried a metaphorical get out of jail free card, absolving him of blame and pinning everything on Binance for wanting to protect its capital.
It seems that O’Leary is under the impression he still has more money coming from FTX and has to defend the indefensible, as he did when he tweeted about Bankman-Fried following his interview with Andrew Sorokin where he offered and if-pology and denied any malice:
I lost millions as an investor in @FTX and got sandblasted as a paid spokesperson for the firm but after listening to that interview I’m in the @billAckman camp about the kid! https://t.co/5lWzTT7JEv
— Kevin O’Leary aka Mr. Wonderful (@kevinolearytv) December 1, 2022
O’Leary is firmly offside with this call, and he could find himself a complete crypto pariah if he maintains such a staunch defense of FTX and its operators.