SkyBridge Capital managing partner Anthony Scaramucci has opened up about the “betrayal” he felt by the actions of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, whom he said he once considered a friend.
Speaking at Casper Lab’s Blockchain Hub event in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 16, Scaramucci emphasized that in the aftermath of the FTX debacle, he felt “betrayed” by Bankman-Fried given that he had a close friendship with both him and his family.
“I have to tell you that the betrayal and the fraud, it’s bad on a lot of different levels, it certainly hurt me reputationally, but I’m just talking about the visceral relationship with somebody,” he said, adding:
“If anybody here has read Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, you know what the ninth circle of Hell is reserved for [...] It’s for the betrayal of a friend who lives with the devil — the ninth circle of hell on the frozen lake.”
Explaining his relationship with Bankman-Fried in further detail, Scaramucci ultimately admitted that he bet on someone he trusted and “got it wrong.”
“I’m a high-profile person so my mistakes get wildly magnified, [that’s] totally fine but I’m not gonna stop the risk-taking,” he said, adding: “I thought Sam was the Mark Zuckerberg of crypto, I did not think he was the Bernie Madoff of crypto.”
However, the SkyBridge founder has not been deterred by the whole ordeal, as he emphasized that he has made a career off of taking risks, and as such he’ll “probably make that mistake again.”
Similarly, Scaramucci’s faith in crypto in has not been shaken either, as he stressed that FTX’s bankruptcy had nothing to do with the underlying value proposition of the technology.
“That’s why we have blockchain and crypto, because we’re trying to create a decentralized situation where we don’t have to like or trust each other. [...] We can transact with each other in a way where the technology basically sanctifies.”
As Scaramucci mentioned to CNBC on Jan. 13, SkyBridge is currently working on buying back a 30% stake in the company, which it sold to FTX for an undisclosed fee back in September.
Notably, the deal took place just two months before FTX filed for bankruptcy. Scaramucci stated that after all the legal details are sorted, the buyback could go through before the second half of this year.
Once that buyback goes through, Scaramucci will still have some loose ties to FTX via an investment he made into a crypto company founded by former FTX US president Brett Harrison. He confirmed the move to Bloomberg via email this week.
At this latest Blockchain Hub event, Scaramucci outlined that it’s important to back and support friends like Harrison, who has beenhaving a tough time due to his affiliation with FTX.