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Elon Musk: Sam Bankman-Fried ‘Set off my BS detector’ when approached about Twitter investment




After the epic collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s entire crypto empire this week, even Elon Musk took a moment from his extremely chaotic week at the helm on Twitter to declare that he never trusted SBF, who stepped down as CEO of FTX on on Friday when the company filed for Chapter 1[ads1]1 bankruptcy.

Bankman-Fried reached out to Musk back in March through their intermediaries (in SBF’s case, it was William MacAskill of FTX’s Future Fund philanthropic arm, which closed on Friday) to express its interest in investing in Musk’s bid for Twitter. That news came out in September when Musk’s text messages were leaked through a lawsuit.

Musk’s banker on the Twitter deal, Michael Grimes of Morgan Stanley, told Musk at the time that SBF offered “at least $3 billion” to help Musk buy Twitter, and wanted to talk about the potential for “social media blockchain integration.”

Musk asked Grimes, “Does Sam actually have $3B of liquid?”

On Friday night, as Crypto Twitter continued to have a field day recycling recent history involving SBF, a popular account that shares internal tech industry emails tweeted out the exchange again. Musk replied: “Exactly. He set off my bs detector, which is why I didn’t think he had $3B.”

Grimes had talked up Bankman-Fried’s offer to Musk, texting: “He’s into you… I think you’ll like him. Ultra genius and builder who likes your formula. Built FTX from scratch after MIT physics.”

Bankman-Fried was interested in helping construct a blockchain version of Twitter. Musk, despite being a crypto champion, shot that proposal down, telling Grimes matter-of-factly, “Blockchain twitter is not possible.” He added that he would only meet with the SBF “as long as I don’t have to have a laborious blockchain debate.”

Grimes told Musk that even absent the blockchain component, Bankman-Fried wanted to invest. Musk passed.

Of course, in light of the financial malfeasance behind the scenes at FTX – which used customer funds and its own FTT token to prop up SBF’s hedge fund Alameda – everyone is eager to distance themselves from the stink.

On October 27, Musk took control of Twitter.

The next two weeks saw FTX go up in flames after Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of rival exchange Binance, announced that his company would liquidate holdings of FTX’s FTT token. It lowered the price of FTT and led to $5 billion in customer withdrawals from FTX, which did not have the liquidity to cover.

Musk, even through the public mess of Twitter’s fake account crisis this week, certainly had a better week than Bankman-Fried.

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