Kevin O’Leary doubles down on his belief in Sam Bankman-Fried’s abilities in recent interviews, causing uproar among the crypto faithful.
Shark Tank star and serial investor Kevin O’Leary AKA Mr. Wonderful, asserted that he would be willing to invest in Sam Bankman-Fried again in a Crypto Banter interview that was aired live on YouTube yesterday.
The clip is now making the rounds on Twitter.
“… he was one of the most brilliant traders in the crypto universe,” O’Leary said in response to whether he would invest in another SBF startup. “He also built one of the most robust platforms we used FTX actively it was a very robust platform that allowed us to get information on a compliant basis, so I really liked what he built.”
When asked the question again, the Shark Tank star said, “the answer would be yes.”
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Wonderful’s sentiments have attracted a bashing from crypto Twitter.
The Crypto Community Responds
Co-founder of Reflexivity Research Will Clemente described O’Leary’s statements as “unbelievable.” Clement citing the fraudulent actions that SBF is accused of, said the Shark Tank star “cannot be serious.”
Meanwhile, Attorney John E. Deaton asserted that SBF did not fail but defrauded customers and investors, questioning O’leary’s thought process.
@CryptoT800, AKA The CryptoInvestigator, accused the Shark Tank star of having a broken moral compass. According to the private investigator, O’Leary is scared to admit that his initial SBF assessment was wrong.
It bears mentioning that Mr. Wonderful is a paid spokesperson of FTX and an investor in the company with equity holdings in both the US arm and the global exchange. However, in an interview, O’Leary told Markets Insider that he has now written down his investments in FTX to zero following bankruptcy filings.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview with CoinDesk TV, the serial investor asserted one positive from the FTX collapse: regulations. According to Mr. Wonderful, robust rules will ensure things like this do not happen again. Ironically, SBF was one of the biggest proponents of this narrative.
Notably, the rest of the crypto community is not sure that hasty regulations will lead to positive outcomes.
Concerns Over Hasty Regulations
As O’Leary asserted, most of the crypto community believes that the fallout of the FTX collapse will lead to more stringent regulations. However, not all pundits are convinced that this is in the interest of crypto.
DeFi proponent and ShapeShift founder Erik Voorhees clarified that the FTX collapse does not point to a problem with crypto but rather to a problem with centralized authorities. According to Voorhees, the solution to this problem is already here, and it is not regulations but rather DeFi, which allows traceable and programmable movement of funds in real time. The DeFi proponent says rules already exist for these centralized institutions but have not stopped both traditional finance and now crypto institutions from carrying out shady practices and hurting customers.
Voorhees is not alone in expressing these sentiments. The founder of W3T Inc., Alex Valatis, also expressed similar views in a tweet days ago, asserting “@FTX_Official was NOT crypto.”
Deaton, in a tweet on Monday, also called on members of Congress to consider the opinion of “ethical entrepreneurs” in formulating crypto guidelines.
These concerns come as users fear that hasty regulations could end up stifling the growth of the nascent industry in the US.