Investors lose over $54 million in an AI-based crypto scam in Japan as fake crypto investment increases globally

Four men have been arrested in connection with an AI-based crypto scam in Japan.
About 20,000 investors lost up to $54.3 million to the scammers who promised them high returns on their capital. 

In Japan, law enforcement officers have arrested four men in connection with a scam crypto trading fund. The men were arrested on suspicion of running the fraudulent AI-based crypto investment scheme. A report by Japanese news outlet Asahi Shimbun revealed that the suspects raised about 6 billion yen ($54.3 million) from investors.   

Four men arrested for crypto scam in Japan

The group is called the Oz Project. It was based in the Aichi region of China until Aichi Prefectural Police apprehended them. The suspects include a 59-year old company officer Shoji Ishida, Yukihiro Yamashita (61), Takuya Hashiyada (46), and Masamichi Toshima (52). 

The sham group told investors of using AI to trade crypto while promising extremely high returns. Oz Project offered investors a 60 percent monthly return on their capital or 2.5 times the principal amount within four months. The promised high returns attracted about 20,000 investors who infused their money into the scam crypto investment scheme. 

In addition, the fraudulent group held seminars and briefings and created a group on the LINE messaging app to seek investors. It appears the initial people that invested in the group began to invite others to join and invest in the project, which resulted in an increased number of the Oz Project investors. 

Before now, some investors residing in Nagoya City filed criminal complaints against the Oz Project in 2019. Since then, the prefectural police have been investigating the matter. 

Crypto scams on the rise

The increasing rate of crypto scams over the past year is alarming, with some experts blaming it on the unregulated nature of the asset class. According to data by the Federal Trade Commission (FTA), Americans have lost over $80 million in cryptocurrency due to investment scams since last October. The lost amount represents a ten times increase year-over-year. Roughly 44 percent of the victims are people between the age of 20 and 39, FTC revealed. 

In a press release published on the 17th of May, the FTC specified that almost 7,000 people reported losses to crypto scams since October 2020. The commission further noted that the median loss is $1,900. 

According to the FTC, many reported being deceived by websites that ask them to invest money in crypto. A lot of time, these investment platforms upload fake testimonials, using crypto jargon to appear credible. In most cases, investors can view the expected growth of their capital. However, problems arise when they try to withdraw the supposed profits. At this point, the fraudsters ask them to send in more cryptocurrency, which results in more losses. 

 

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Play-to-Earn NFT Trading Card Platform Splinterland Reaches 100,000 Users

Play-to-earn NFT trading card gaming platform Splinterlands reaches 100,000 accounts milestone.
The platform continues to foster community through its incentivised Splintertalk.io blogging platform.

NFT trading card gaming ecosystem Splinterlands has reached a 100,000 accounts milestone on its platform.
The innovative platform, built on the Hive blockchain, can be accessed by players anytime allowing them to trade gaming cards. The platform is play-to-earn, and so, for every win, players are rewarded with the game’s native token, Dark Energy Crystals (DEC). Daily quest completion and bi-weekly season rewards come in the form of provably valuable and scarce non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Splinterland: adding real-life value to gaming

Splinterlands’ 100,000 user milestone is a testament to the versatility of potential NFT application. In this case, the NFT play-to-earn approach adopted by the platform keeps gamers invested. Unlike conventional gaming, where game progress and high scores have no real-life value, Splinterlands has found a way to create real and organic value in its gaming items. For instance, using the Summoner’s Spellbook upgrade, users are able to permanently own cards and potentially earn more as they play. Even users who opt for a more passive role can earn by renting out their cards to active players.

A community of blockchain trading card gamers

Founded in 2018 with the goal of creating a community around blockchain trading cards, Splinterlands has gone on to award wins valued at millions of dollars. With a daily average of 600,000 blockchain transactions, the platform has a daily card trading volume of more than $20,000. This post from three days ago puts the market cap at $25 million.

Splinterland CEO and co-founder Dr Jesse “Aggroed” Reich comments;

This is really an exceptional moment for the community. We’re overwhelmed by positive feedback and the community is growing every day. By supporting us and playing our game, they’re empowering themselves, which in turn lets us keep providing them value and rewards in every way we can. It’s pretty sweet […] We always put the community first. They are our most important assets, so we want to empower them by ensuring that they reap value and rewards of their own. We do our best to listen to them and never take them for granted. With their help, we’ll grow this thing into the first mainstream blockchain game.

In keeping with its vision of creating and fostering community,  Splinterland members can earn by participating in activities such as content creation. Through its Splintertalk blogging platform, gamers can share content such as trivial knowledge and their game progress. They can also engage in contests. The platform has about 100 unique posts added per day.

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The Bank of England says crypto does not require action beyond monitoring

The Bank of England admitted that cryptocurrencies are no threat and hence require no further action other than monitoring. 

According to its FSR report, there are signs of growing crypto interest from important payment system operators and banks.

Bitcoin has been long associated with tax evasion, terrorist financing, and money laundering. For this reason, regulators have pushed to impose strict measures to regulate its use. Some have even called on the total ban of digital assets due to their various concerns. However, the Bank of England has reported that crypto does not pose enough threats that demand action beyond the current monitoring. Regardless, the bank admitted in its Financial Stability Report (FSR) that:

there is a level of risk in the Price volatility in certain crypto assets that could highlight potential pockets of exuberance.

The report further mentioned that the crypto market is largely made up of retail investors with rising institutional investors who have little exposure at the moment. The FSR admits that the crypto adoption this year has been very impressive. According to the FSR, there are signs of growing crypto interest from important payment system operators and banks to improve interlinkages between traditional financial institutions and cryptos. 

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey stressed his position that crypto has no intrinsic value, and cautioned investors to understand that they can lose all their money. 

From an institutional point of view, the evidence does not point to it being a large part of the picture, but we have to watch it very carefully, as we do because it is a fast-changing landscape.

Inflation in the UK to drive institutional crypto investment

Despite the report that the Bank of England does not intend to take any action beyond the monitoring of crypto-assets, deputy governor Jon Cunliffe disclosed they are carefully observing the market for any possible measures to protect retail investors. 

From a financial stability point of view, the point at which you act is the point where you think, well actually you have a risk that is beginning to crystallize.

It was recently reported that younger adults in the UK between 18 and 35 years have heavily invested in Bitcoin. Interestingly, the growing inflation in England could force many other institutional investors to use Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation. 

Related: More Britons bought crypto than stock in 2020 – Report

The inflation surged in four consecutive months to its highest rate in three years according to a recent statement by ONS deputy national statistician Jonathan Athow. Inflation reached 3 percent this year before falling below its target level. 

Chief U.K economist at Capital Economics Paul Dales has warned that inflation may surge to 4 percent at the end of the year. 

We think this surge in inflation will be temporary, which means the Bank of England won’t tighten policy in response.

This could easily drive demand for Bitcoin and other well-performing cryptocurrencies, especially among institutional investors.

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Brazil SEC spearheads South America’s first Ethereum ETF

The Ethereum ETF will soon be listed on the Brazil stock exchange, B3, under the ticker QETH11.
Ethereum ETF is the second CVM-approved crypto ETF in Brazil, with the Bitcoin ETF having been rubber-stamped in March.

Brazilian Securities and Exchanges Commission (CVM), has authorized the very first Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Latin America. The new asset class, which replicates the second-largest crypto giant’s performance, will be administered by QR Asset Management. The latter is the largest cryptocurrency asset manager based in Latin America.

The Ethereum ETF will soon be listed on the nation’s stock exchange, B3, under the ticker QETH11. In addition, the asset will follow the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate (ETHUSD-RR), used by the CME Group.

QR Asset Management stated:

Expanding the horizon of diversification, QETH11 becomes a simple, safe, and regulated option for any investor to gain direct exposure to Ethereum through their preferred brokerage.

Additionally, the crypto asset manager pointed out that the new ETF would utilize “secure institutional custody”. The custodian will be Gemini Trust Company LLC – a US digital currency exchange owned and run by the Winklevoss twins.

Ethereum ETF and crypto market

Reportedly, this is the second cryptocurrency ETF that the CVM has approved. The first was Bitcoin ETF, which the regulator approved in March.

Fernando Carvalho, CEO of QR Capital noted this as a “historic moment for both the crypto and conventional financial markets.”

Brazilian investors now have exposure to the two largest cryptocurrencies, through the purchase of regulated and easily accessible ETFs.

Meanwhile, Canada currently prides itself on three Bitcoin ETFs, all of which were approved this year. These events have inspired neighbouring nations to follow Canada’s path. However, efforts towards introducing Bitcoin ETFs in the US have proved futile. The Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) continues to reject ETF proposals, citing the likelihood of fraudulent and manipulative practices. The regulator remains skeptical and uncertain of investors’ safety should they take up such an asset.

Bitcoin ETFs rejected in the U.S. include the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF, Huntington Asset Advisors ETF, and Precidian Investments ETF. More recently, the watchdog postponed its ruling on VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF twice, by 45 days each time. The next judgment is scheduled for this month. Additionally, the regulator extended decision-making on Kryptoin and SkyBridge Capital Bitcoin ETF to July 27 and August 25, 2021, respectively.

Ethereum (Eth) Market Performance

At press time, Ethereum is trading at $1,900, having shed off 4 percent in 24-hours, according to our data. During this period also, its highs and lows have been $2,038 and $1,857. The digital asset has gained a staggering 700 percent in one year.

Nevertheless, Ethereum’s value has been cut by more than half, as the asset had achieved an all-time high of $4,165 in early May. That said, there is a lot of hype and anticipation of an Ethereum bull run this year. Some of the crypto enthusiasts expect its price to rise to $2,500-$3,000, or beyond by December 2021.

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Crypto.com brings on-chain NFT withdrawals to other supported marketplaces by Crypto.org

The new facility allows users to swiftly move their NFT across marketplaces supported by Crypto.org.
Crypto.com also plans to bring multichain support featuring self custody of digital collectibles.

Digital collectibles, aka non-fungible tokens (NFTs), minted on Crypto.org shall now be available for on-chain withdrawals at Crypto.com/NFT. Users will be easily able to transfer their NFTs to other marketplaces or wallets supported by Crypto.com. This also includes transfers between the Crypto.com DeFi Wallet as well as Crypto.org Chain Desktop Wallet.

The development comes just four months after the launch of Crypto.com’s NFT platform. Since March, the platform has been hosting NFTs representing outstanding pieces of original content from A-list creators.  It includes content from popular personalities like Snoop Dog, Boss Logic, Lega Serie A, KCamp, CLOUD, and others. Commenting on this latest development, Kris Marszalek, co-founder and CEO of Crypto.com said:

Opening on-chain withdrawals is important to collectors, we’re happy this feature is live. We’re looking forward to releasing multichain support in the future, opening up further self-custody and display options to collectors.

Supporting NFTs on the Ethereum Network

Last month, the platform announced that its non-custodial Crypto.com DeFi Wallet shall be supporting the ERC721 and ERC1155 NFTs on the Ethereum network. The Crypto.com DeFi wallet allows users to manage, view, send and share their NFTs along with their DeFi tokens.

https://t.co/GC9cXDxtMu now supports on-chain withdrawals to any https://t.co/FaauJaS19Z Chain-supported wallet

Transfer #NFTs to and from your:
https://t.co/vCNztABJoG DeFi Wallet
https://t.co/FaauJaS19Z Chain Desktop Wallet

Details https://t.co/2YXqIGWNuz pic.twitter.com/hEZIB0aRWo

— Crypto.com (@cryptocom) July 14, 2021

Users can also manage and glance at their entire NFT collection in one place by checking out their dedicated ‘NFTs’ page in the DeFi wallet. The ‘NFTs’ page consists of two sections – ‘Spotlight’ and ‘Collection’. Users can view specific NFTs by moving them to the ‘Spotlight’ section at the top of the page. Besides, they can view additional details, share, send and spotlight NFTs just by tapping the digital collectible.

To receive the NFT, users just need to copy the wallet address from the ‘NFTs’ page. The wallet address to receive NFTs will be the same as the users’ Ethereum address. To send the NFT, users only need to tap on the digital collectible, click ‘send’ and enter the recipient’s wallet address when prompted.

Crypto.com forms important partnerships

The Crypto.com app has witnessed strong growth since it went live in 2016. Today, it serves more than 10 million customers worldwide. To expand its footprint in the crypto industry, Crypto.com has formed important partnerships with different players.

Back in April 2021, TIME Magazine joined hands with Crypto.com to facilitate crypto payments. With 2.3 million subscribed readers, TIME provides the facility to offer digital subscriptions payments in cryptocurrencies. Recently, Crypto.com also announced its partnership with UFC for a ‘fight kit’. The partnership allows Crypto.com to put its branding on UFC kits worn by its athletes.

Read More: TIME Magazine partners with Crypto.com to offer cryptocurrency payments

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Biblical Judge’s Name Inscribed on Ancient Jug in Rare Discovery

An ancient jug dating back about 3,100 years that has the name of a biblical judge inscribed on it was unearthed in a very rare discovery. It was found during excavations at Khirbat er-Ra‘i which is close to Kiryat Gat in the Southern District of Israel.

The ancient vessel (dated between the 12th and 11th centuries BCE) contains the name Jerubbaal who was mentioned in the Book of Judges. While it can’t be known for sure if the name is definitively in reference to the biblical judge, it is still a very significant find as it is the first time ever that the name has been seen other than in the Bible. Furthermore, it is believed that whoever owned the vessel was the one who inscribed his name on it.

An image of the judge Gideon ben Yoash (also known as Jerubbaal)

Professor Yosef Garfinkel and archeologist Sa‘ar Ganor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem went into further details regarding the name on the jug, “The name Jerubbaal is familiar from biblical tradition in the Book of Judges as an alternative name for the judge Gideon ben Yoash.” “Gideon is first mentioned as combating idolatry by breaking the altar to Baal and cutting down the Asherah pole.” “In biblical tradition, he is then remembered as triumphing over the Midianites, who used to cross over the Jordan to plunder agricultural crops. According to the Bible, Gideon organized a small army of 300 soldiers and attacked the Midianites by night near Ma‘ayan Harod.”

It is possible that the inscription may refer to another person named Jerubbaal who was not a biblical judge but Garfinkel and Ganor explained that “…the possibility cannot be ruled out that the jug belonged to the judge Gideon.”

The site, which is close to another archaeological area where a center called Lachish was once located, has been excavated since 2015 and at first the researchers thought that they might find an ancient fortress but rather discovered six rooms that date back to around the 10th century BCE (it was thought to have been a small village). They did, however, find the vessel that contained the biblical judge’s name.

Image of Gideon painted by Maarten van Heemskerck.

Based on the items found at the site, it is believed that it was once used as a Canaanite site but with a powerful Philistine influence. The jug contains five letters — yod (broken at the top), resh, bet, ayin, lamed – which was not part of the Hebrew alphabet and was instead from a different alphabet from years before as Garfinkel noted, “The alphabetic script was invented by the Canaanites and the Egyptian influence right about 1800 BCE,” adding, “They continued to use this script, which evolved from Egyptian Hieroglyphs in the Late Bronze Age [1500-1200 BCE] and Iron Age I [1200-1000 BCE]. The Hebrew and Phoenician scripts were developed only in the middle of the tenth century BCE.”

Pictures of the name inscribed onto the jug can be seen here.

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Messari Q2 review shows how Binance Smart Chain has failed against Ethereum in the DeFi space

Binance Smart Chain slumps in Q2 amid DeFi crash and regulatory scrutiny.
Ethereum solidifies its hold on the space, again proving why it’s the ‘King of DeFi.’

A new report by cryptocurrency data firm Messari suggests that Binance Smart Chain had a tougher second quarter than Ethereum. With the general slowing down of the crypto market, the DeFi market has taken a hit. The Binance Smart Chain network, however, appears to be taking more hits than its peers. Much of its woes have stemmed from the regulatory scrutiny directed at the Binance exchange.

The British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced in June that Binance is not licensed to conduct business there. In compliance with the Authority’s wishes, several financial institutions, including banks Barclays, NatWest and Santander went on to curtail their clients’ access to Binance and other crypto exchanges. A July 12 announcement from payment processor Clear Junction revealed that it would cease processing payments on behalf of the exchange.

Read More: Another one! A key payments partner withdraws support for Binance

Highlights of Messari’s Q2 DeFi review

Decentralized Finance gained momentum in 2020. According to CoinGecko, on August 9, DeFi’s market capitalisation had reached $11 billion. About a  week later, it hit $15.1 billion. Those who tapped into the market early made huge returns. The DeFi market, however, is on a down-swing according to the Messari Q2 ‘21 DeFi Review.

The report reveals that activity on DeFi protocols reduced in the second half of Q2.  Conversely, trade volume on decentralised exchanges (DEXs) increased in Q2 from $221 billion to $405 billion. While that may seem like a win for DEXs, the report notes that the  DEX volume took a nosedive toward the end of the period. Monthly DEX volume in May was $203.5 billion but dropped to $95 billion in June.

The hardest hit by the fall was Binance Smart Chain and its DeFi apps. This includes one of the most popular coin swaps DEX, PancakeSwap which had performed quite well in the first quarter, going neck-to-neck with Ethereum-based Uniswap.

Messari notes, “Combined with a series of hacks and exploits on BSC leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, BSC saw speculation dry up dramatically in June leading to PancakeSwap volumes diving 69% in June.”

Messari asserts that Binance has been myopic in permitting users to make quick money off it. Comparing TVLs (total value locked), Messari noted;

Although TVL  across all smart contract platforms contracted, BSC’s was particularly hurt given most of the value locked in its applications was mercenary capital and consisted of assets that had little use outside of incentivizing user speculation. Unlike Ethereum’s TVL, which has a healthy dose of stablecoins in the mix, the composition of BSC’s TVL was heavily skewed towards the higher end of the risk spectrum making it extremely sensitive to market swings.

While Binance Smart Chain has been steadily losing its grip in the DeFi space, Ethereum-based products have generally been gaining momentum. With projects like Polygon spearheading technological advancements that ensure low fees and scalability, Ethereum has continued to be the preferred platform.

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Self proclaimed Bitcoin co-creator arrested for defrauding investors up to $214M

Jörg Molt, a German DJ and entrepreneur who claimed to be a co-creator of Bitcoin has been arrested.

He is accused of defrauding 50 people of $214 million through his “Bitcoin pension” project.

In November 2019, a German DJ and entrepreneur Jörg Molt appeared at the 2019 WCC Vegas Blockchain Week conference claiming to be a co-creator of Bitcoin. He also claimed to be running “Satoshi School” where only Bitcoin and blockchain were taught. At the time of the interview, he mentioned that he holds about 250,000 Bitcoins, a claim that was widely doubted.

Molt was later exposed by his ex-wife that he did not even have a computer in 2008 when Bitcoin was being created, further dubbing him “Faketoshi.”

Jörg Molt’s (German #Faketoshi) ex-wife spoke out about his scams a year ago:

– he owes money to at least 6 people
– he‘s not paying alimony for his two kids
– when the #Bitcoin WP was released, he didn’t even own a computer @KennethBosak @aantonop https://t.co/xJMtKjK2kS

— Lina Seiche (@LinaSeiche) November 3, 2019

Jörg Molt’s scheme

According to the latest report, the self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor has been arrested for fraud. The 48-year-old man was arrested at the Frankfurt airport when attempting to board a flight to South America. Law enforcement launched an investigation into his companion, a 54-year-old woman, and searched his Karlsruhe apartment of which undisclosed evidence was found. 

Having gained a huge following on social media, Molt launched a scheme called “Bitcoin pension” which allegedly defrauded 50 people of $214 million. The Bitcoin pension scheme was closed down in 2020 after community members became suspicious of an alleged scam.

Further reports reveal that Molt lied to investors that 60 percent of the investments would be used to purchase Bitcoin mining hardware and generate returns with a facility in Sweden. He planned to keep the remaining 40 percent into a safe account which he claimed could be withdrawn at any time. However, an investigation into the project discovered that the funds were not invested in Bitcoin mining. In addition, its business model did not match its huge promises.

Antonopoulos labeled Molt a liar

Jörg Molt has had his claims questioned since 2019. In one of his interviews, he said Andreas Antonopoulos was his close friend. However, Antonopoulos labeled him a liar. 

Apparently, a German person called ‘Jörg Molt’ has been showing a selfie taken with me and telling people that we are friends — This is a LIE. I don’t know him at all — I have heard from others that he claims to be the founder of Bitcoin and has thousands of BTC — A LIE.

The popularity of Bitcoin has caused a number of people to claim to be either Satoshi Nakamoto or his assistants. Just recently, the Bogdanoff twins claimed to have assisted in building Bitcoin. According to Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff, they played an active role in elaborating the source code, specifically the predictive code.

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Bulls in agony as Bitcoin slips below $32K but new CPI report reveals US economy is strained

Bitcoin has portrayed weakness after slipping below $32,000 – the asset risks breaking below $30,000 by the end of the week.
A recent report shows that US inflation is approaching the 2008 record levels.

Bitcoin has for the second day in a row, extended its decline to hit a 17 day low. The latest move sees the digital asset slip below $32,000, one of its critical supports. In the past, a breakdown has seen it find sufficient support at $30,000 before rebounding. In its drop, Bitcoin has managed to drag the wider market with it. Ethereum for instance has extended its weekly loss to over 20 percent after a 6 percent drop in the last 24 hours.

Altcoins have been hit hard by the recent move. A majority have wiped out between 5 percent and 10 percent. The total market cap has wiped out nearly 5 percent in the last 24 hours.

Bitcoin has in the last week wiped out roughly 8 percent according to our data. The downward trend comes despite recent data showing that traders have consistently been withdrawing their Bitcoin from centralized exchanges. The accumulation is viewed as a major sign of optimism on the price trend.

Read More: Bitcoin back in accumulation suggesting imminent breakout but institutions managing risk

For the last few weeks, market pundits have been divided on the direction that Bitcoin prices will take. One of the most controversial events that has analysts divided is the Grayscale Bitcoin trust shares unlocking. They have in part been blamed for the current volatility being witnessed in the market.

With prices in recent weeks stagnating, it is tipped that most holders will look to cash out. A majority of these investors bought in April when prices were at the peak of $65,000. According to the “Crypto, Fear & Greed Index,” investors are currently hanging on “extreme fear.”

Read More: JPMorgan strategists expects Bitcoin to reach $25,000 following Grayscale GBTC shares unlocking

Bitcoin set up for gains as inflation looms

Today’s drop is correlated to the global stock drop. This has been triggered by the recent report showing the rise of the U.S consumer price index which reached 5.4 percent compared with last year, and well above the 4.9 percent economists predicted. The report which was released on Tuesday revealed that the economy is strained with demand surpassing supply. The Fed and other global managers maintain that inflation will be transitionary. However, more economists and researchers including Deutsche Bank research strategist Jim Reid are convinced that inflation could last longer. Reid added;

Either that, or the transitory definition will have to be revised to cover several quarters rather than just months,”

This is good news for Bitcoin which is viewed as a hedge against inflation. Although the initial shock in the global markets tends to affect Bitcoin as well, the digital asset usually breaks away to act as a hedge against traditional markets.

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FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried hints at the exchange acquiring Goldman Sachs and CME someday

According to Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX may acquire Goldman Sachs and CME someday once the exchange overtakes giants like Coinbase and Binance. 
The CEO revealed the exchange currently does not have plans for an IPO. 

Crypto billionaire and CEO of crypto exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried has hinted at future acquisitions of investment banking giant Goldman Sachs and derivates exchange company Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). Bankman-Fried mentioned the possibility of owning the investment banking firm and the foreign exchange company while speaking in an interview with the Financial Times. 

Bankman-Fried says FTX may acquire Goldman Sachs and CME

During the 14th of July interview, Bankman-Fried sounded confident of FTX exchange’s growth over time. He said buying giants like Goldman Sachs and CME Group is possible if FTX advances to become a top exchange. The 29-year old crypto billionaire added that his crypto exchange could surpass other top exchanges like Binance and Coinbase. In a statement, he added:

If we are the biggest exchange, [buying Goldman Sachs and CME]is not out of the question at all.

According to Forbes 2021 billionaire net worth, Bankman-Fried’s net is estimated at $8.7 billion as of the 4th of June. Bankman-Fried is also the CEO of quantitative trading firm Alameda Research. On the other hand, Macrotrends’ data showed that Goldman Sachs has an estimated market value of $129 billion. CME Group on the other hand has a market cap of $75.5 billion

Although FTX has an impressive growth rate, the exchange is still far from the status of Goldman Sachs and CME Group. The firm is currently looking at a $20 billion valuation in its latest funding round, as Bankman-Fried revealed. The CEO said the upcoming funding round would raise “mid-hundreds of millions” majorly from institutions. Speaking further, the billionaire said more details of the financing round would be revealed over the coming weeks. 

However, Bankman-Fried noted that the money is secondary. According to him, “the biggest thing is not the funds themselves, the biggest thing is the partnerships” with traditional financial firms like banks and fund managers.

The billionaire continued by highlighting FTX’s plans for funds secured from the financing round. He noted that FTX would use part of the fresh capital to target retail investors. In addition, FTX intends to obtain licenses from other locations after the completion of the funding round. 

FTX has no current IPO plans

Despite FTX raising funds, the exchange does not have plans for an initial public offering (IPO) in the near future. The exchange CEO said that the company is “not actively looking to list.” He also noted that the exchange wants to be in a good position to go public when the time comes. Bankman-Fried continued:

We are in a fortunate position of not having to do it because we don’t need capital… on the other hand there are potentially big advantages to listing such as brand recognition.

Since its debut in the crypto market in 2019, FTX has been making a notable impact. Over the past year, the company has been investing and, at the same time, been on an acquisition spree. The exchange purchased Blockfolio for $150 million in August last year. In March, FTX also secured naming rights for the next 19 years to Miami Heat’s home stadium. The deal was sealed for roughly $135 million. 

Separately, FTX secured additional naming rights worth $210 million for “Team SoloMid.” Following the deal, the team has changed its name to TSM FTX. 

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