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Sam Bankman-Fried says Bitcoin looks tempting at $15,000

Lucinda Shen
Jul 21, 2022
Axios' screenshot of Lucinda speaking with SBF
Photo: Axios Insight/Gabriella Turrisi

FTX co-founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried mentioned in a recent conversation with Bloomberg's Matt Levine that the crypto exchange had considered — and would still consider — buying bitcoin if it fell further to a level that he didn't specify. On Thursday, he specified that level during an Axios Insights virtual interview.

What he's saying: Depending on market conditions, FTX could buy bitcoin "if it got way below 20-k per bitcoin, I think if you get into the 15-k range, we would we would think hard about that," the entrepreneur said at the Axios Pro event. The idea is that SBF would come into the market as a buyer of the cryptocurrency to stabilize it, as he's done with several crypto assets lately.

  • "We'd think very hard about that at the 10-k range per bitcoin, both from the perspective of — it seems like the market really needs liquidity there. If it's getting to that point and from the perspective of it, just looking like a good purchase on a medium term time scale."

Yes, but: He added that this kind of speculation has to be done in the context of the broader market, taking into account the value and risks of bitcoin relative to other potential investments. If the Nasdaq plunges by half, for instance, surely bitcoin will drop further with it — making everything awash.

Context: The price of bitcoin has flirted with the $20,000 level in the recent downturn, taking a turn for the better this week and now sitting around $23,100 as of late Wednesday.

  • FTX holds its treasury in cash. Holding a portion in bitcoin would introduce more volatility — which is in part why the asset has typically not had a long shelf life on corporate balance sheets.
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