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Was SBF’s Alameda Research Frontrunning Token Listings on FTX?

Decrypt | Stacy Elliott | Nov 14, 2022

Alameda Research - Was SBF's Alameda Research Frontrunning Token Listings on FTX?Alameda Research used prior knowledge of tokens that were scheduled to be listed on FTX to buy them ahead of the public announcements and then sold them for a profit, according to an analysis from crypto compliance firm Argus.

  • Between the start of 2021 and March of this year, Alameda held $60 million worth of 18 different tokens that were eventually listed on FTX. The analysis was first mentioned in a report on Monday from The Wall Street Journal.
    • Argus co-founder Omar Amjad, told the WSJ. “It’s quite clear there’s something in the market telling them they should be buying things that they previously hadn’t.”

See:  SBF Resigns and FTX Files for Bankruptcy

  • FTX/SBF-Alameda Relationship:  Alameda Research is a quantitative trading firm founded by Sam Bankman-Fried in 2017. He went on to found FTX, the now-bankrupt crypto exchange, in 2019 and then stepped away from day-to-day operations at Alameda in 2021.
    • Bankman-Fried maintained that the two companies were separate entities, but the bank run that forced FTX's hand on suspending withdrawals last week, and ultimately filing for bankruptcy, stemmed from the fact that a large portion of Alameda's balance sheet was comprised of FTT, the FTX exchange token.
  • It’s a pattern that’s shown up at other crypto firms, like NFT marketplace OpenSea and publicly traded crypto exchange Coinbase. Law enforcement hasn’t taken kindly to it.

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