FTX Has No Plans to Go Public But “Silly Not doing our Due Diligence,” says CEO SBF

Sam Bankman-Fried says FTX is profitable, so there isn’t a particular urgency or need to make a move right now. Its native token FTT, a $2.9 billion market cap coin meanwhile, is trading at $32.82, up 465% YTD.

Coinbase (COIN) share prices remain 46% down from its all-time high of nearly $430, hit on the day of its debut on the NASDAQ.

After the successful direct listing of the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, competitor Kraken is also preparing for its initial public offering (IPO) sometime late next year. But FTX has no such plans.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, said in an interview with Bloomberg that the company currently has no firm plans but added, “it’s something we’d be silly not to be doing our due diligence on.”

FTX is profitable, so there isn’t a particular urgency or need to make a move right now, he said. But they have been getting approached by sponsors of special-purpose acquisition companies or SPACs.

However, “there are not very many plausible exciting targets for them in crypto — we’re one of the few,” he said.

FTX has a native token FTT, a $2.9 billion market cap coin that is currently trading at $32.82 — up 465% YTD but down 48% from an all-time high above $63 hit last month.

The 29-year-old chief executive officer also talked about the increased scrutiny the cryptocurrency space has been getting from regulators all over the world.

“Part of this is wait-and-see, and part of it is seeing where (US Securities and Exchange Commission head Gary) Gensler and frankly, a lot of other regulators as well, end up coming out on these.”

Gensler has been calling out for increased regulation for the crypto exchanges and urged Congress to work on a “regulatory framework.”

As we reported, Bitcoin is not part of SEC's 2021 agenda, and the regulator has yet to approve a single Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) while postponing its decision on three such applications already.

“What you see is not an outright rejection of the idea but rather sort of a sentiment of, ‘Look, in order to be comfortable with a Bitcoin ETF, we have to be comfortable with Bitcoin markets.”

On the topic of energy usage in Bitcoin mining, Bankman-Fried said it is frustrating because there’s yet to be a productive conversation around this.

“It’s not at all reasonable for Bitcoin forces to decry it as sort of a witch hunt to bring up this question because there is substantial energy usage happening because of Bitcoin mining right now,” and it should be analyzed, he said.

But it is particularly unique to Bitcoin, and there are approaches to combating it, such as switching to green energy sources and adopting carbon offsets, said Bankman-Fried.

“The answer is that it’s not free to mitigate, but it’s not that expensive. It’s something the industry could pay without really setting itself back that much.”

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