Sam Bankman-Fried's Alameda Research shielded FTX from a loss of up to $1 billion after a customer trade blew up a year before the exchange collapsed, report says
- Alameda Research in 2021 stepped in to shelter FTX from a loss of up to $1 billion, the FT reported Friday.
- An FTX client's leveraged bet on a little-known token tore through buffers aimed at shielding FTX from losses.
Hedge fund Alameda Research stepped in to shelter the now-collapsed crypto exchange FTX from a loss of up to $1 billion last year after a customer trade on the exchange soured, according to the Financial Times, underscoring the deep ties between the companies in Sam Bankman-Fried empire.
An FTX client's leveraged bet on a little-known token tore through buffers aimed at shielding FTX from sustaining losses when a trade goes bad, leading Alameda to step in and assume the trader's position to protect the exchange, people with knowledge of the matter told the FT in a report published Friday.
The April 2021 incident took place more than a year before FTX collapsed last month following a run on the exchange.
The incident revolved around a sudden price spike and crash in mobileCoin, a crypto token used for payments in the Signal messaging app. The moves came after a trader on FTX built an unusually large position in the token.
Two people familiar with the matter told FT that when the price rose, the trader used the position to borrow against it on FTX, potentially a scheme to extract dollars from the exchange.
Alameda was then forced to step in to protect FTX. The company's loss on the deal was at least in the hundreds of millions of dollars and as high as $1 billion, the report said, citing the unnamed sources. The action wiped out a large share of Alameda's 2021 trading profits.
The ties between the exchange and the hedge fund are at the center of the implosion of FTX, with allegations that FTX had lent customer funds to Alameda for trading. FTX, which was once valued at $32 billion, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November.
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