Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, says he would again back Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. “You can’t be serious,” many people told O’Leary, claiming that SBF is a fraud that has stolen billions from FTX customers.
Kevin O’Leary ignores evidence of fraud, says he would back former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried again
Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary shocked many when he said on the Crypto Banter podcast, released on Tuesday, that he would still back Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Last week, the crypto firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO.
O’Leary has an equity stake in FTX and has signed a multi-year deal to become an ambassador and spokesperson for the cryptocurrency exchange. His fee was paid in crypto and managed on the FTX platform.
“If SBF knocked on your door again and said, ‘Look, I failed at my last venture, I have a new crypto venture, I need the money,’ would you support it?” O’Leary was asked. He replied:
The answer would be yes.
The Shark Tank star described, “I think we can all admit you can either love them or hate them given what’s happened.” However, Mr. Wonderful added:
He was one of the brightest traders in the cryptocurrency universe. He also built one of the sturdiest platforms. We have used FTX actively. It was a very robust platform that allowed us to get information on a compliant basis, so I really like what he’s built.
O’Leary went on to detail how he would invest in Bankman-Fried “in a different context” next time around. The Shark Tank star explained that SBF would “not have operational control of the assets” but would have control of trading. “You will find, assuming he doesn’t get personally involved in a bad situation, that it will be found somewhere else in cryptocurrencies,” she added.
“I know all the players in the cryptocurrency market and I’m just telling you there’s no one like him… I’m telling you Sam Bankman-Fried is an unusual 1% person in terms of understanding how these assets work “said Mr. Wonderful continued.
Returning to the question of whether he would support SBF in its next venture, O’Leary said:
If I could put him on my team in a very direct vertical where he doesn’t have the ability to move resources but has the ability to swap them, yes I would.
Many people disagree with O’Leary, calling Bankman-Fried a fraud
O’Leary’s comments left the crypto community in disbelief. Many people took to Twitter to criticize the Shark Tank star. “Sam committed one of the biggest frauds in history,” wrote one Twitter user. Another reminded O’Leary that SBF scammed its FTX clients and stole billions from them.
Will Clemente, co-founder of Reflexivity Research, wrote: “Amazing. Kevin O’Leary says he would support SBF again and [that] he was a “large merchant”. Kevin, do you realize that he was front-running and counter-trading his own clients and offloading the accumulated tokens on his own clients? You can not be serious.”
Crypto advocate John E. Deaton pointed out, “SBF has not failed in its latest venture. What’s wrong with Kevin O’Leary. He emphasized:
Didn’t fail not-so-Mr. Marvelous. She lied. Cheated. Deceived. He did inside trading and stole people’s money. O’Leary had the audacity to criticize Brian Armstrong, but he would back SBF again. My God.
Ripple CTO David “JoelKatz” Schwartz commented, “I can forgive people for being deceived when others have been deceived too, but I can’t forgive people for willfully blinding themselves to damning evidence.”
What do you think about Kevin O’Leary saying he would back Sam Bankman-Fried again? Let us know in the comments section below.
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