Lessons from the Glitz, Glam, & Gore of Crypto’s FTX & SBF

January 30, 2023

You’d be surprised to hear of those who have approached me about my opinion on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency the last few years.

In my experience it, hasn’t been young people. It’s been those who are concerned about a financial meltdown with political reasons that pique their curiosity even further.

Ironically, sometimes the ones who want crypto are the very ones who are afraid of the volatility of the stock market.

Of course, all that is anecdotal. Let’s just say with the collapse of FTX and the plunge of Bitcoin, I haven’t had people coming to me with the same interest the last several months.

That’s not a problem, as I can’t provide investment advice on it anyway for compliance reasons via our regulator.


No one likes it. Until they do.

For those of you who are still wondering, here is a definition of cryptocurrency straight from our regulator: “Cryptocurrency, or crypto, is a broad term for any virtual currency that represents a stored value secured through cryptography, which uses highly sophisticated encryption techniques to anonymously store and pass information.”

That’s a mouthful. I wrote a teeny bit about what it is in early 2021.

The blowup of FTX, one of the primary exchanges for cryptocurrencies during its meteoric rise, kind of put the kibosh on people’s appetite for crypto. The once beloved leader of FTX named SBF was indicted in December and charged with countless conspiracies.

Now I have no idea whether crypto or its chief currency Bitcoin will last. This is not a crypto is dead post. (In fact, it’s up quite a bit from its recent lows.) I have zero insight on its future.

I do know that the bust in the sphere is further evidence of human beings’ voracious appetites to get rich quick be it achieved legally or illegally.

We love (lust?) the glitz and glam of the sexy new thing, especially if it gets us wealthy. The problem is the desire to get rich quick often ends in the vaporization of wealth.

Just ask lottery winners. Or those who traded the recent asset bubble while it burst in their face.

We need to relearn the lesson of an ancient rockstar king by the name of Solomon. He wrote a ton of wise proverbs--even though he broke many of them. Here’s one everyone should remember: “Wealth hastily gotten will dwindle, but he who gathers little by little will increase it” (Proverbs 13:11, RSV).

This is similar to Aesop’s story of the tortoise and the hare.

Everyone wants to be the hare. No one wants to be the tortoise.

But the tortoise wins.

FTX symbolized the possibility that the hare will win this time. It had the glitz and glam of Super Bowl commercials filled with superstars like Brady and Curry and supermodels like Gisele. Its leader was praised and viewed as one of the good guys full of altruism and political goodwill.

But it ended in greed and real people got gored.

Consistent wealth gatherers, as Solomon says and the tortoise models, are not only less likely to get gored but to see wealth increase.

They invest. They work. They plant. They reap a harvest.

Who knows where crypto will go, but we all might exchange some #lasereyes for #littlebylittle.

Little-by-little aint alluring, but it is wise.