Too soon? Amazon commissions FTX mini-series
Spoiler alert: court proceedings suggest crypto exchange was a mess and investors will be out of pocket
The collapse of crypto exchange FTX has already been turned into a television drama.
Production house AGBO used its Instagram account to reveal that it has "teamed up with David Weil and Amazon Studios for an eight-episode limited series about the FTX crypto scandal, expected to be in production this spring."
Weil created the Amazon Prime show "Hunters" and the Apple TV+ presentation "Invasion" while AGBO is the vehicle for directors Anthony and Joe Russo, who worked together on numerous Marvel Cinematic Universe projects.
The show will apparently consider the rise and fall of FTX, which recently collapsed after a liquidity crisis brought on by what's been described as "a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information" by the exec appointed to clean up the mess.
Which should make for great television – especially for those whose investments in FTX appear to have evaporated.
At the time of writing FTX's liabilities reportedly totalled at least $9 billion while assets were a mere $1.24 billion. Court filings such as this slide deck [PDF] detail around $450 million of cash, but predict around $400 million will be needed to keep FTX and its associated entities operating for the next few weeks.
Investors' prospects of recouping their cash are therefore slim. Even in Japan – one of few jurisdictions to strongly regulate crypto exchanges and require them to set aside investors’ funds – FTX reportedly expects a year may pass before customers see any of their money.
- FTX disarray declared 'unprecedented' by exec who cleaned up after Enron
- Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison
- Another crypto shocker: Major player actually corrects $400m mistake instead of cratering
- Crypto lender Celsius in Chapter 11 deep freeze
Most other nations do not require such protections. Singapore's Monetary Authority (MAS), for example, has washed its hands of the situation. It stated that it kept an eye on rival crypto exchange Binance because it solicited Singaporean customers, but ignored FTX because it did not seek local customers.
"The most important lesson from the FTX debacle is that dealing in any cryptocurrency, on any platform, is hazardous," the MAS statement reads. "There is no protection for customers who deal in cryptocurrencies. They can lose all their money."
MAS has been saying that for months, but around the world many were not listening. Alternatively, they decided that tokens with no intrinsic value – and which are not associated with any productive enterprise – nonetheless represent a sensible investment.
Amazon Studios has, in its own way, made a similar bet by commissioning a show about the scandal. ®