The Curious Case of a $7 Million ‘Trump Lose’ Holding on FTX’s Balance Sheet

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With crypto exchange FTX’s implosion triggering worries in the sector, Ken Griffin, the CEO of hedge fund Citadel, highlighted a curious item on the exchange’s balance sheet—a crypto token called TRUMPLOSE valued at over $7 million.

“You know, on the balance sheet at FTX there’s a line called ‘Trump Lose.’ And Sam was the second biggest donor of the Democratic candidates,” Griffin said during an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday referring to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. “Those are really, really ugly facts when you see a fraud of this nature having played out and you find no regulators were there to prevent it. That’s a really, really tough story.”

FTX filed for bankruptcy last week after concerns about its balance sheet triggered a large number of depositors to withdraw funds from their accounts, pushing the exchange into a liquidity crisis. On FTX’s balance sheet, the TRUMPLOSE token is shown as having a value of $7.39 million.

During the 2020 presidential election in the United States, FTX ran a series of prediction markets where traders were allowed to buy one of the two tokens—TRUMPWIN or TRUMPLOSE.

A buyer of TRUMPWIN would get $1 for each token if Donald Trump had won the election, failing which the token value would resolve to zero.

Similarly, a buyer of TRUMPLOSE would win $1 for his token should Trump lose the election, failing which this token would end up with zero value.

The $7.39 million TRUMPLOSE position on FTX’s balance sheet is an illiquid asset as the 2020 election is long over, according to a report by CoinDesk.

Supporting Democrats

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has a deep connection with Democrats. The exchange was founded just after Biden announced his bid for presidency in 2019.

According to data from Open Secrets, Bankman-Fried was the second largest individual donor to Democrats in the 2022 election cycle, coming behind George Soros who is at the top with $128 million in contributions.

By Naveen Athrappully

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