Twitter Vs. The Cathedral
every iteration of the FTX story was broken by accounts like @AutismCapital, while nyt and other mainstream outlets obscured, downplayed, and denied the degree to which SBF screwed everyone over
Two weeks ago, in a storm of allegations concerning everything from fraud to outright theft, the world’s second-largest crypto exchange evaporated overnight. The founder, one of the largest Democratic Party donors in America, was revealed to be at best criminally incompetent, and at worst downright villainous. But perhaps the most fascinating thing about this story is where it broke, and where it continued to break as the tale evolved — not the “expert,” fraud-chasing, tech-loathing media outlets you would expect, but extremely niche publications close to the source, and then, for the most part, anonymous writers on Twitter.
This was the original dream of the internet: free men and women sharing information beyond the gatekeepers, connecting, collaborating, and in this case shedding light on what has easily become the most important business story in years. Some time over the last decade, the industry centralized, and bled into the worlds of media and government. But recently, there’s been something of a thaw. The old ways are returning. They’re named things like Autism Capital.
Brandon Gorrell breaks it down in a special weekend edition of Pirate Wires.
Sam and the power of the American pharmacologic amphetamine Illuminati behind him vs CZ and his ancient Asian sun tzu dragon magic. Who will win? 🍿 — @AutismCapital
On November 6, @AutismCapital tweeted the meme of the kid ripping a bubbler behind two girls in a fist fight. In the meme, the kid is crypto Twitter and the two girls are FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (“SBF”) and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (“CZ”). The tweet came a few days after the account noticed a Binance transaction1 that, at the time, seemed like a shot across the bow, aimed at FTX. @AutismCapital followed the tweet up with a Dragon Ball Z meme and the ‘two retards fighting’ South Park meme.
November 6 was the day that CZ had, put simply, tweeted something truthful about FTX that caused everyone to realize it was probably not safe to keep their money on that exchange. What followed was the total financial and social unraveling of SBF and FTX, resulting in not only the incineration of over $20b of profits and customer deposits, but a cascade of damning revelations about SBF, his political connections, and how he ran his company.
This is an account of how every iteration of the FTX story, still ongoing as I write, was tirelessly and obsessively scooped, broken, and cataloged by Twitter addicts like @AutismCapital, powered by an online army of blockchain analysts and degenerate crypto gamblers mainlining Twitter, Discord, and blockchain explorers. And how what has ultimately begun to play out looks like total war: citizen journalists, armed with blockchain technology and social networking trying to find consensus on the next version of the narrative, up against an amoral, ideologically motivated media backed by the cathedral, whose agenda it is to maintain and expand its control of the information landscape at any cost.
“What if all this is about who gets Gisele now that they took out Tom Brady?,” @AutismCapital posted soon after CZ’s tweet. In the initial hours of the FTX shitstorm, the account seemed to be rooting for SBF (“SBF is an apex autist from the most savage training regimen that exists, Jane Street and MIT.” / “[B]ravo to Sam to choose the correct option that protects customer assets, swallow his pride, and not burn everything down in an unnecessary fight."). But as shit began to hit the fan2, the account watched and waited, then sounded the alarm: “We would *HIGHLY* suggest removing ALL your funds off of EVERY exchange until this all blows over. Do not be lazy, do this NOW.”
As FTX’s fate shifted into view, the account—and crypto Twitter along with it—shifted into warp speed, breaking nearly every aspect of the unfolding FTX/ SBF/ Alameda drama. And when @AutismCapital began soliciting its followers for inside information, it ultimately resulted in a series of scoops that, among other things, allegedly revealed:
@AutismCapital and other accounts like @foobar also documented what seems like a hack or inside job: on November 11, whale-sized balances of various tokens were withdrawn and liquidated into a single wallet. From what I can see, the exploit was essentially the theft of around $300,000,000 of FTX user funds. FTX seems to be claiming this was a hack. But:
The implosion of FTX also brought SBF’s ties to the Democratic Party under scrutiny, and raised questions about the nature of his relationships to institutional centers of power. In 2020, he donated $5.2 million to Biden’s presidential campaign. And this year, he was the second biggest donor to Democrats, and was possibly planning to spend up to a billion dollars during the 2024 presidential election.
We’ve learned many more details over the past week and a half, and the situation is still unfolding. @AutismCapital and the other accounts mentioned here are far from the only ones who have broken news and provided crucial commentary on the FTX meltdown. From my extremely limited, outsider vantage point, @DylanLeClair_, @mrjasonchoi, @211lp, @0xfbifemboy, and countless others have been providing massive value to those who needed good information about the reality unfolding around SBF/ FTX.
The role of some mainstream outlets can’t be ignored, either. WSJ reported that FTX executives possibly knew about Alameda’s use of customer funds. FT broke the news that Galois capital had $100m stuck on the exchange. Fortune estimated that FTX spent $75m on property in the Bahamas in 2022, and that the company probably did purchase the notorious Bahamas penthouse polycule apartment for $40m.
All told, the basic shape of the FTX story is that a fleshy, sociopathic, possibly cognitively-impaired3 goblin, who frivolously spent billions on real estate, and who gave Democrats almost $40m in 2022 and telegraphed that he would give them $1b next year, possibly defrauded investors and millions of customers out of potentially tens of billions of dollars. And a bunch of based, autistic degenerates mainlining Twitter and analyzing the blockchain uncovered it all, and updated the narrative with what seems like a pretty decent version of the truth.
On Wednesday, November 16, the mainstream outlets woke up. The second biggest donor to Democratic candidates, behind only George Soros himself, seemed to have been the primary engineer of a foul-smelling scam that likely ruined millions of individuals, and scores of companies and investors. Here’s how Washington Post lead the charge:
In the wake of the leaked DMs between SBF and a Vox reporter that showed Sam saying his philanthropy was “mostly a front,” the author of the Washington Post piece was busy drafting up what would become a 2,200-word article dedicated to cataloging SBF’s thankless, angelic philanthropy and lamenting the fact that Fried wouldn’t be able to give money to politicians and Washington nonprofits for pandemic stuff anymore. From the piece:
“[SBF] was smart, thoughtful and publicly spirited,” [someone who knew SBF] wrote in a text message. “He was personally engaged and passionate about using his money to make a difference.
The day before, NYT entered the vanguard by publishing several soft pieces on SBF. In an interview with FTX’s in-house psychiatrist—the one called Lerner who definitely didn’t prescribe staff Adderall for productivity—the writers include the psychiatrist’s description of FTX’s employees: “impressively frugal… even Mr. Bankman-Fried, who preferred buying groceries and cooking his own meals to eating expensive dinners out.” “They really didn’t spend much money,” Lerner told the Times.
I mean, I can’t resist. Even if SBF rarely ate at expensive restaurants and “preferred buying groceries and cooking his own meals,” he would still be cooking those meals in the 7,500 square foot, five bed, seven-and-a-half bath penthouse apartment that FTX bought for $39,950,000 last year.
The Clown World headlines have not stopped coming in. The same day the NYT published the interview with Lerner, Vox published a piece headlined “The impact of Sam Bankman-Fried’s support for Democrats is massively overstated.” A piece published in Forbes on Friday seems to blame the FTX meltdown on Caroline Ellison, who they’re framing as a “new darling of the alt-right.” And the piece may have used, as a primary source, a troll who was fucking with them.
Can you even make this stuff up?
Meanwhile, @AutismCapital is posting diligently about FTX’s new CEO who’s overseeing its bankruptcy, and digging into FTX’s Chapter 11 filing. It’s also beginning to move on from the story: yesterday it thanked its followers for their efforts—and most especially their dank memes—before tweeting about Elizabeth Holmes’ prison sentence. But obviously, the story’s not over. More lurid details about FTX and Alameda will surely emerge, especially as Twitter pores through its Chapter 11 filing.
Regardless, the FTX media cycle will be impermanent. But we do know one thing: the information war will continue to rage on. The autists on Twitter have activated, Elon has enthusiastically entered the fray and made clear what side he’s on, and the battle for truth against an incumbent media unable to report honestly on realities that may compromise their agenda is just getting started.
My money is on the autists.
Binance moved 23 million FTT, their ‘stake’ in FTX, to a different wallet address, signaling the start of a process during which the company would dump 100% of their FTT and tank the value of the coin
I.e. the price of FTT began to crash
Click the link and control+F “league of legends”