BALD coin is a cryptocurrency that was launched in July 2023 as a meme coin, a type of digital token that often gains popularity due to internet humor and viral content rather than fundamental utility or technology. BALD coin claimed to be a deflationary token that burned 2% of every transaction and rewarded holders with another 2%. It also promised to donate part of its proceeds to charities that support bald people and research on hair loss.
The coin quickly gained traction on social media platforms like Twitter and Telegram, where its creators and promoters hyped its potential to reach astronomical prices. Many investors bought the coin hoping to make a quick profit, driving its price from less than a cent to over $0.05 in a matter of days. BALD coin reached a market capitalization of over $500 million at its peak, making it one of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by value.
However, the coin’s success was short-lived. On August 3, 2023, the developers of BALD coin suddenly withdrew all the liquidity from the decentralized exchange LeetSwap, where the coin was traded, and disappeared with millions of dollars worth of Ethereum. This left the investors holding worthless tokens that could not be sold or exchanged. This malicious maneuver is known as a rug pull, a type of scam where developers abandon a project and run away with investors’ funds.
The rug pull of BALD coin was one of the biggest crypto scams of 2023, causing outrage and frustration among the victims. Some investors lost their life savings, while others were left in debt. The incident also raised questions about the lack of regulation and oversight in the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, where anyone can create and list tokens without audit or verification.
Were FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried involved?
FTX was a cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, an American entrepreneur and investor. FTX was one of the largest and most influential players in the crypto industry, offering a variety of products and services such as futures, options, leveraged tokens, prediction markets, and NFTs. FTX was also known for its philanthropic activities, donating millions of dollars to various causes such as climate change, animal welfare, and effective altruism.
However, FTX’s reputation and success came crashing down in late 2022, when it was revealed that the exchange was involved in a massive fraud scheme that defrauded thousands of customers and investors. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, FTX manipulated the prices of its own tokens and products, engaged in illegal market practices such as wash trading and spoofing, laundered money through offshore entities, evaded taxes and regulations, and violated campaign finance laws by making illegal donations to political candidates.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of FTX, was arrested in December 2022 in the Bahamas and extradited to the U.S., where he faces 12 criminal charges for offenses including wire fraud, securities fraud, commodities fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. He is currently under house arrest in California, awaiting trial in October 2023. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 115 years in prison.
As for the connection between FTX and BALD coin, there is no conclusive evidence that FTX or Sam Bankman-Fried directly participated or facilitated the rug pull of BALD coin. However, there are some circumstantial clues that suggest a possible link. For instance:
- BALD coin was listed on LeetSwap, a decentralized exchange that was powered by Base Protocol, a blockchain platform that was backed by FTX and Alameda Research (Sam Bankman-Fried’s trading firm). 8
- BALD coin used FTX Token (FTT) as one of its trading pairs on LeetSwap, along with Ethereum (ETH). FTT was the native token of FTX exchange and one of the main targets of the fraud investigation.
- BALD coin was heavily promoted by some crypto influencers and media outlets that had ties to FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried, such as CoinGecko, CoinMarketCap, and The Block.
- BALD coin’s website and social media accounts used similar logos, slogans, and design elements as FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried’s personal brand.
These clues, however, are not enough to prove that FTX or Sam Bankman-Fried were behind the rug pull of BALD coin. They could be coincidences, or the result of the developers of BALD coin copying or exploiting FTX’s reputation and influence. Alternatively, they could indicate that FTX or Sam Bankman-Fried were aware of or complicit in the scam, but did not directly orchestrate it. The truth may never be known, unless more evidence emerges or the perpetrators are caught and confess.
In conclusion, BALD coin was a cryptocurrency that crashed after its developers pulled a rug on its investors, leaving them with worthless tokens. FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried were not directly involved in the scam, but there are some hints that they may have had some connection or knowledge of it.