Does DeFi still have a future in regulated form?
As the crypto edifice teeters, there is still one last chance for decentralized finance. If it can encode regulatory compliance into real-world financial assets issued in tokenized form and then trade, clear and settle in seconds at negligible cost and low risk, it might just survive.
Unusual doesn’t begin to cover it. The story of Sam Bankman-Fried and the swift and dramatic collapse of FTX may be grubby, but it is so compelling.
There are the delicious images of the young billionaire in grey T-shirt, shorts and socks staring at his phone and barely noticing the besuited former US president Bill Clinton and ex-UK prime minister Tony Blair paid to sit next to him and tout crypto at the firm’s conference in the Bahamas; the grotesque TV ads with American football player Tom Brady, now facing a class action lawsuit from investors gulled into investing on the failed crypto exchange; perhaps most entertaining of all the humiliation of investing firms such as Sequoia Capital, Temasek, Tiger Global, BlackRock and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan that together decided in October 2021 that FTX was worth $25 billion.
“Sam Bankman-Fried is a special founder who is ambitious and daring enough to build the future of crypto by establishing FTX as the global exchange with the best overall product offering and leveraging the world's crypto rails to build the future of finance,” Alfred Lin, general partner at Sequoia Capital declared at the time.