Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, shared that he and Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) raised nearly $8 billion from institutional investors to save cryptocurrency FTX before it crashed. However, when reports emerged that FTX was being investigated by several authorities, including the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), all interested investors disappeared.
Kevin O’Leary tried to raise funds to save FTX
In an interview with Insider published on Sunday, Kevin O’Leary shared how he tried to save cryptocurrency exchange FTX before it collapsed. O’Leary is a paid spokesperson for FTX and has investments in the company.
Before FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11, Mr. Wonderful was talking to a number of potential investors interested in owning a stake in the crypto exchange. He told the publication that sovereign funds were interested in investing $8 billion to save FTX.
Noting that Bankman-Fried called him to discuss investments, O’Leary shared:
We had a short conversation. It was very rational. You know we discussed a few things about the $6 billion to $8 billion time frame. But it was enough information for me to go back to interesting sources and confirm that the number was eight.
Mr. Wonderful noted that Bankman-Fried said during his call that regulators would “come down hard” on the situation.
However, rescue bids quickly dried up when reports emerged that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other global regulators were closing in on FTX. O’Leary continued:
All of these interested parties were gone … I sent it back to Sam … and told him that was not going to be an option.
Even so, O’Leary believes that if a sovereign wealth fund or other buyers were to invest about $4 billion, investors would feel confident keeping their assets in FTX. “So what was being discussed around the world and what was on the table was that you could buy a $32 billion asset for $4 billion,” he said.
“There will be a mountain of judgment”
Mr. Wonderful announced that he had begun moving his assets elsewhere and said Canada is the only country that offers fully regulated broker-dealer exchange accounts. “We’re confident that the regulatory environment in Canada is scrutinizing non-compoundable accounts,” the Shark Tank star said, adding that he believes the market has yet to see the bottom of the FTX debacle.
O’Leary commented on the collapse of FTX, which shook confidence in the cryptocurrency sector, saying:
There are a lot of allegations going around… It’s a tough situation, no question about it. It will be a mountain fight.
Despite regulators investigating Bankman-Fried and the crypto industry crying foul over fraud, O’Leary claims he’s never met a brighter mind when it comes to cryptocurrency and blockchain. He described:
He’s a scientist… He’s probably one of the most skilled crypto traders in the world, and that’s why I’m so impressed.
Last week, the Shark Tank star said she would back Bankman-Fried again if she had another venture. This has angered the crypto industry as many people believe that the former CEO of FTX engaged in numerous fraudulent activities.
Like other FTX investors, including the Singapore government’s Temasek Holdings and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund, O’Leary underwrites all FTX investments. He said: “I write that everything is reduced to zero … It is not clear what can be restored.”
What do you think of Kevin O’Leary’s comments? Let us know in the comment section below.
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