- Financier and former Trump employee Scaramucci will invest in a cryptocurrency startup by the former US head of FTX, who resigned weeks before the collapse of FTX.
- Earlier, FTX Ventures purchased 30% of SkyBridge Capital Scaramucci for $40 million.
- FTX also sponsored the Scaramucci Leadership Forum SALT, which brought Bill Clinton and Tony Blair to the 2022 Crypto Bahamas event.
- FTX has courted well-known investors, including Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, and donated billions to politicians.
- Scaramucci, initially reluctant, now says it’s “very clear” that there was fraud at FTX.
FTX’s influence, both in the field of cryptography and beyond, has been broad. Information about the extent of its influence is still emerging. Perhaps one of the key figures in FTX’s rise to prominence was financier and former Trump staffer Anthony Scaramucci.
Scaramucci recently announced the investment in the crypto project of the former head of FTX US. The investment raised eyebrows, as FTX Ventures invested $40 million in Scaramucci SkyBridge.
However, his ties to FTX don’t stop there. In 2022, FTX partners with Scaramucci’s SALT Leadership Forum. SALT was the main organizer of the Crypto Bahamas Forum, an invitation-only event featuring speakers like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.
FTX signed its deal with Scaramucci as the exchange began its efforts to influence regulators and opinion leaders on its view of cryptocurrency.
The company has paid billions to politicians and investors to lobby for favorable regulation and gain legitimacy among policymakers. Scaramucci may have been a key figure in this effort.
How Scaramucci and Bankman-Fried Crossed Paths
Financier and former Trump administration staffer Anthony Scaramucci is influential in politics and business.
While his tenure as White House communications director was brief, his influence remained. Scaramucci, a longtime Republican donor, often prides himself on his globe-spanning connections.
In 2020, Scaramucci started investing in cryptocurrency. His company, SkyBridge Capital, bought it for $25 million and allocated 5% of its portfolio to crypto assets. Scaramucci said that an interview with Michael Saylor, a Bitcoin fanatic, influenced his decision.
Reportedly, the fund was performing poorly at the time. Perhaps this is why, in September 2021, Scaramucci signed a $40 million deal with FTX Ventures.
The investment arm of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX Empire will receive a 30% stake in SkyBridge, and the option to purchase 85% of the company. But his deals with FTX don’t end here.
Scaramucci brings Clinton and Blair to talk about encryption
In 2021, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried launches a massive campaign to influence key opinion leaders in politics and business. FTX has been pushing for “reasonable regulation” of the crypto space. Others have a different view. For example, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, said that he used these connections to attack his competitors.
In any case, the Scaramucci effect may have been exactly what Bankman-Fried was looking for at the time.
According to Forbes, the partnership with Scaramucci “opens up a network of global financial relationships at a time when TradFi institutions plan their digital asset strategies.”
“I’ve been doing this way longer than Sam has been alive, so I have a lot of connections there,” Scaramucci said of his relationship with Bankman Fried.
To cement their collaboration, FTX signed a deal with SALT Leadership Forum in January 2022, of which Scaramucci is the founder and chairman of the board. FTX has been a longtime sponsor of the SALT New York Conference.
Furthermore, SALT helped organize the Crypto Bahamas event. The invitation-only event hosted guests such as former US President Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Other notable guests included NFL star Tom Brady, as well as his wife, Gisele Bundchen. In June 2021, the pair signed a long-term partnership to promote FTX.
“You want to do it right in the regulatory space,” Clinton said during his paid attendance at the event. He also pointed to his administration’s efforts to liberalize financial markets in the 1990s.
Scaramucci: It’s very clear that there is fraud in FTX
Scaramucci isn’t the only high-profile businessman with ties to FTX. Just a month before FTX’s deal with SkyBridge, Kevin O’Leary became a paid spokesperson for the exchange.
However, unlike O’Leary, who still speaks positively of Bankman-Fried, Scaramucci now believes it is “very clear” that there is fraud at FTX.
“I think it’s very clear now that there was fraud. We will of course have to let the legal system determine all of these things.”
In addition to his work in finance, Scaramucci served briefly as White House Communications Director in 2017 under President Donald Trump. His term lasted only ten days and he was mired in a struggle with Trump appointees.
He remained loyal to Trump until 2019 when he revealed that he was no longer in favor of re-election. He referred to Trump’s “racistly charged comments” and his “divisive tweets”.
Apparently, Scaramucci takes loyalty very seriously. On January 15, 2023, he revealed that he will invest in a startup headed by former US FTX CEO Brett Harris. The company, which does not yet have a name, is raising funds to build cryptocurrency trading software for large investors.
Harrison, who knew Sam Bankman-Fried before he founded FTX, resigned eight weeks before FTX was declared bankrupt.
“It’s important to pick up and fight for your friends especially when they suffer setbacks. Don’t shy away,” Scaramucci tweeted shortly after announcing the investment.
on the flip side
- Despite the collapse of FTX and his falling out with Bankman-Fried, Scaramucci remains a believer in cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin. He sees digital assets at $50,000 in 2-3 years
Why should you bother
Anthony Scaramucci’s involvement with FTX highlights the importance of connections and influence in a business. It gives a glimpse into how business deals are made behind the scenes and how powerful influencers can have a significant impact on the success of companies.
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