Anthony Scaramucci’s Skybridge Capital firm is closely entwined with FTX, but the Mooch is not convinced the now-defunct crypto exchange is coming back any time soon.
“I don't see how it's possible to restart FTX,” Scaramucci said in an interview. “Not a lot of money is being made in these exchanges right now, and so a lot of these exchanges are in the red, and they're burning off capital that they raised in these private placements, waiting for a new bull market to start and waiting for higher volume.”
Scaramucci, the financier who once served as Donald Trump's White House communications director for 11 days and more recently appeared on the reality TV show "Special Forces: World's Toughest Test," made the comments on an episode of The Block's The Scoop podcast with Frank Chaparro.
FTX, once valued at $32 billion, filed for bankruptcy protection after a run on its FTT token last year. New leadership steering the company through bankruptcy proceedings is exploring a possible restart of the crypto exchange, although a reboot would not happen until next year, if it happens at all.
Scaramucci’s investment firm is closely linked to FTX. The crypto exchange bought a significant stake in Skybridge Capital, while Skybridge also invested in FTX.
FTX reboot would be a 'net positive' for Skybridge
Although he’d like to buy back his interest in FTX, Scaramucci is doubtful that the exchange will rev back to life.
“I don't see how they restart. I don't see the positives to restarting, frankly. But you know, I've been wrong about so many things,” Scaramucci said, noting that any reboot of the exchange would require buy-in from creditors and a bankruptcy judge.
FTX’s lawyers have said they will explore a possible reboot, proposing a restructuring plan in July that explores a restart in the second quarter of next year. The plan would then be reviewed by creditors, and may be voted on in the first half of 2024. Mention of a possible reboot in bankruptcy court sent the price of FTT jumping earlier this month.
“If they do restore it, I see it as a net positive for Skybridge … That will mean that they're profitable and we'll hopefully be able to negotiate with them,” Scaramucci said.
A more plausible scenario is that FTX will sell its software and licensure and open under a new brand, Scaramucci said. There is a small contingent of FTX customers who are hopeful the exchange can restart, despite the fact that three former FTX executives have pleaded guilty to criminal charges. Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting an October trial.
Scaramucci slams Gensler as ‘bad faith regulator’
The Skybridge Capital boss also weighed in Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler’s appearance before Congress last week. Republicans grilled Gensler on crypto during a House Financial Services Committee hearing.
Gensler’s stance toward the crypto industry could push more business offshore, Scaramucci warned. Just this week, Coinbase said it had obtained a license to operate in Bermuda, and could soon launch an offshore derivates exchange.
“Mr. Gensler is a bad faith regulator, and I think he'll just delay the process of adoption for the U.S. and it's sad, because other countries will take the lead and we'll be missing out,” Scaramucci said. “The notion that you would kick crypto out of the country because you got embarrassed by Sam Bankman-Fried I think is an absolute absurdity.”
Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.