Showing posts from November, 2022

The entire crypto ecosystem is a ponzi

  The crypto ecosystem has grown massively in the last three years. Many of those participating in it have made life-changing amounts of money - on paper, or perhaps more accurately on computer. But  the problem with paper gains is that they tend to evaporate like the morning mist when the market turns. The crypto market turned towards the end of 2021 and is now firmly in bear territory. Bitcoin has fallen from above $60,000 in November 2021 to barely $16,000 now. For anyone who bought Bitcoin near the top, that is a mammoth real loss. And even though it is not a real loss for people who bought Bitcoin in the bear market of 2018 and have HODLed for years, it is still a mammoth paper loss. No-one likes to see an unrealised financial gain wiped out by the markets before they can claim it.  Unsurprisingly, crypto people have been selling up in droves. For crypto investors to cash out their extraordinary gains, there must be real money in the system - dollars, euros, yen, pounds. But the c

The FTX-Alameda nexus

How did it all go so wrong, so quickly? Less than a month ago, Sam Bankman-Fried was the golden boy of crypto, with a net worth in the $billions, and his exchange FTX was valued at $32bn. Now, FTX has a gaping hole in its balance sheet, thousands of people have lost their money, and Sam is facing personal bankruptcy and, potentially, fraud charges.  The short answer is - it didn't. The hole in FTX's balance sheet has existed for a long time. We don't know exactly how long, but the size of the estimates (ranging from $6-$10 billion) suggests several months if not years. Sam has been trading while insolvent. He's not the only crypto oligarch to do so: Celsius's Mashinsky also traded while insolvent for an extended period of time.  Trading while insolvent is illegal, of course. But in cryptoland scant attention is paid to such niceties. It is (or would like to be) a lawless, self-regulating space in which conventional courts and regulators have no place. And anyway, th