Did SBF Actually Employ FTX Traders’ Bitcoin to Maintain BTC Price Below $20,000? Did he prevent Bitcoin from reaching $100,000 in the Bull Run?

13 Oct 2023

Mitchell Nixon


According to an article on CoinTelegraph, Bitcoin did not reach $100,000 during the 2021 bull market due to the assertion that the now-defunct exchange FTX continuously offloaded BTC.

In a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) on October 12, Joe Burnett, the senior product marketing manager at Unchained, a Bitcoin financial services company, echoed the growing chorus of voices suggesting that FTX executives may have suppressed the strength of BTC’s price.

As the trial of the former FTX CEO, Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried, unfolds, recent testimony is shedding light on potential market manipulation.

During this week’s proceedings, Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of the affiliated firm Alameda Research, allegedly informed the court that Bankman-Fried had requested her to sell BTC if its spot price were to breach the $20,000 mark. What’s concerning is that this was executed using FTX customer funds, for which they did not possess the authority to use.

In response, Burnett implied that the extensive nature of these activities could have potentially cast a detrimental shadow over the entire Bitcoin bull market.

“Alameda was insolvent even during the bull market. It appears they used (or ‘borrowed’) FTX customer bitcoin and other customer assets to buy ‘Sam coins’ (FTT, Solana, and Serum),” he noted, alluding to reports that indicated Ellison’s company had a daunting deficit of $2.7 billion in 2021.

“Without this fake sell pressure, maybe bitcoin would have hit $100,000 in 2021.”

In the 2021 bull market, BTC/USD did achieve a record peak of $69,000. However, expectations back then were pointing to significantly higher figures.