Cryptocurrency exchange FTX subsumed the venture capital arm of Alameda Research, consolidating billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire against the current climate.
Alameda Chief Executive Officer Caroline Ellison confirmed the incorporation in an interview with Bloomberg. It was also substantiated by the employment of Brian Lee, a former partner at Alameda Research Ventures, at FTX Ventures, the startup investment arm of the crypto exchange. The decision was made prior to the resignation of co-CEO Sam Trabucco, who had said earlier this week that he was stepping down and would shift into an advisory role.
According to the head of the fund, Amy Wu, the transition began in January this year, when FTX Ventures raised $2 billion. While venture investing is now completely concentrated under FTX Ventures, Wu emphasized that the crypto exchange, the venture arm, and Alameda are all independent from one another. “All three are operating completely as separate entities,” Wu stressed.
Due to the size of Alameda’s portfolio, the incorporation could have significant implications for the crypto startup industry. According to research from PitchBook, Alameda invested prolifically, backing over 150 private companies including non-fungible token marketplace Magic Eden and crypto bank Anchorage Digital.
The two companies, FTX and Alameda, were both founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, whose crypto empire has been consolidated by the absorption. Previously, Alameda and FTX had made a joint cash offer to purchase the assets of crypto lender and trading platform, Voyager Digital LLC, which had been struggling with liquidity crisis and bankruptcy. However, Voyager responded by calling the offer a “low-ball bid,” adding that it could disrupt the bankruptcy process.
Yet, Ellison said Alameda is open to offering similar bailouts if the crypto winter continues to persist as bitterly. “The more systemically important someone is, the more important it would be to try to support them,” she said. Earlier, Bankman-Friend said that between himself and FTX, he had a “few billion” dollars on hand to help support ailing crypto firms, after already assisting several ailing firms.