Cathie Wood: SBF disliked Bitcoin because he ‘couldn’t control it’
Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood made waves last month by maintaining her bullish stance on Bitcoin. Despite the cryptocurrency having sunk more than 60% in the year to below $17,000 at the time, she confidently predicted it would hit $1 million by 2030, reiterating a call that her firm made in April.
This weekend, she signaled her continued confidence in Bitcoin and shared data to back it up, while also criticizing Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and ex-CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
FTX abruptly collapsed last month, shaking confidence in a sector that was already reeling from a “crypto winter.”
On Saturday, Wood tweeted, “The Bitcoin blockchain didn’t skip a beat during the crisis caused by opaque centralized players. No wonder Sam Bankman Fried didn’t like Bitcoin: it’s transparent and decentralized. He couldn’t control it.”
Wood also shared a link to a Bitcoin report from her firm, which stated:
“Despite market volatility associated with FTX’s demise, the supply held by long-term holders—or the supply last moved 155 days ago or more—closed flat for the month of November. We believe this datapoint indicates holders’ long-term focus and high conviction, despite recent events. Today, long-term-holder supply is 72% of bitcoin’s total circulating supply.”
A Bitcoin maximalist’s view of FTX
One of those long-term Bitcoin holders is MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, who describes himself as Bitcoin maximalist. He also weighed in on the FTX fiasco this week.
“You have the Bitcoin community opposite the crypto community, and there’s been a low-grade, sort of boiling guerrilla war between the two camps for the past two and a half years,” he said this week on the PBD Podcast. “And Sam is kind of like the poster child of the crypto world.”
Bankman-Fried and his ilk were always guilty of “shitcoinery,” he said, or of “pumping and promoting unregistered securities…It’s unethical if you think, ‘I am front-running my customers, issuing a token, manipulating the price of the token, and dumping it on them.’”
Wood, speaking about the FTX collapse, told Bloomberg last month that Bitcoin “is coming out of this smelling like a rose,” while also giving a nod to Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
“Yes, a lot of people have lost a lot of money. The crypto asset ecosystem is losing value here. But if we’re right on the underlying technology and the underlying roles that Bitcoin and Ether, Ethereum, are going to play in this new world, then I think we’re going to recover pretty quickly.”
Last month, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said the collapse of FTX contained valuable lessons.
“What happened at FTX was of course a huge tragedy,” he told Bloomberg. “That said, many in the Ethereum community also see the situation as a validation of things they believed in all along: Centralized anything is by default suspect.” Those beliefs also include putting one’s trust in “open and transparent code above individual humans.”
Many prominent business leaders remain skeptical of both Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, of course, among them JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger, who last month called them “partly fraud and partly delusion.” Mark Mobius, the billionaire co-founder of Mobius Capital Partners, recently predicted that Bitcoin will drop to $10,000 next year—in May, he correctly predicted the cryptocurrency’s fall to $20,000.
Fortune reached out to Bankman-Fried for comment but did not receive an immediate reply.
Our new weekly Impact Report newsletter examines how ESG news and trends are shaping the roles and responsibilities of today’s executives. Subscribe here.