O’Leary lays the blame for the FTX collapse on Binance, baffling the crypto community.
Shark Tank star and serial investor Kevin O’Leary, AKA Mr. Wonderful, in a senate banking committee hearing on the FTX collapse yesterday, blamed the collapse of the crypto exchange on competing crypto exchange Binance.
According to O’Leary, Binance put FTX out of business. The shark tank star makes these claims despite the recent arrest of Sam Bankman-Fried on multiple charges of fraud and a separate US Securities and Exchange Commission complaint alleging that SBF had defrauded investors from the beginning diverting customer deposits for personal use and propping up Alameda.
“They [Binance] put FTX out of business,” O’Leary said when queried about the reason for the FTX collapse, citing a feud between both exchanges.
— CoinDesk (@CoinDesk) December 14, 2022
Unsurprisingly, O’Leary’s statements have baffled several industry participants and crypto community members.
Ripple CTO, Deaton, And Others Respond
In a tweet in response to the clip shared by CoinDesk, Ripple CTO David Schwartz expressed shock that the Shark Tank star could express such sentiments in the face of mounting evidence of wrongdoing against SBF. According to Schwartz, if Binance led to the FTX collapse, it was a “public service.”
“Does this man have no shame?…”
Does this man have no shame? Against the entire weight of an absurdly massive amount of evidence, he blames the FTX collapse on ….. Binance. https://t.co/gLgmROP3Da
— David "JoelKatz" Schwartz (@JoelKatz) December 14, 2022
Attorney John Deaton baffled that O’Leary apportions no blame to SBF even with recent charges, described the Shark Tank star as a clown, calling O’Leary’s response a “disgrace.”
I just saw @kevinolearytv’s utter disgrace of an answer on why @FTX_Official failed. He literally blames the entire collapse on @cz_binance and doesn’t once say SBFraud is to blame even though he just got indicted on 8 counts and is the biggest fraud since Madoff. Absolute 🤡
— John E Deaton (@JohnEDeaton1) December 15, 2022
As the crypto community struggles to understand O’Leary’s motivations, several speculations have come to the fore. Some have pointed to the $15 million the investor received to become an FTX spokesperson. On the other hand, TradersApprentice (@Trader4lyf) alleged that O’Leary might have a deeper involvement with the fraudulent practices at the FTX crypto exchange. It is an angle that Binance chief Changpeng Zhao may also agree with, as in response to the speculation, he dropped an emoji alluding to the possibility.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) December 15, 2022
It bears mentioning that it is not the first time the investor has attempted to deflect attention to Binance in the wake of the FTX collapse. Per our previous report, O’Leary told CNBC that SBF had pointed to the Binance buyout deal as a precipitating factor in the collapse of the crypto exchange.
Meanwhile, before that, the Shark Tank star had shocked the crypto space by saying he would invest in SBF again, given the opportunity.
Changpeng Zhao, in early November, had confirmed Binance’s plans to sell its FTX Token (FTT) at the time worth over $500 million, citing concerning reports about the health of FTX. Some pundits believe that this decision kicked off the bank run on the exchange, which led to its collapse as the exchange proved illiquid.