Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy went viral Wednesday night for not understanding how cryptocurrency works. Twitter let him have it.
Portnoy’s question has to do with the collapse of FTX, a prominent crypto exchange.
After a string of catastrophic events over the weekend, FTX had roughly $5 billion withdrawn from it by users in one day. According to their CEO, the exchange didn’t have the cash to pay everyone out and was only able to process 80% of the requests, resulting in a crisis of confidence and a major venture capital firm ranking their worth at $0. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that FTX had tapped into customer accounts to place risky bets, setting up its inevitable downfall.
FTX was, for a split second, going to be purchased by rival exchange Binance. But Binance pulled the deal a day later, citing “corporate due diligence.” In a lengthy Twitter thread, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, formerly one of cryptocurrency’s most successful figures, explained the downfall of FTX.
“I fucked up, and should have done better,” he said in the thread.
Portnoy, the founder of Barstool and an alleged sexual abuser, has recently pivoted to investing and crypto, even branding himself as “the baron of Bitcoin.”
But in the wake of the collapse, he was stupified.
“I have a dumb question. If I bought bitcoins through FTX and FTX goes belly up where do they go? Like Bitcoins are finite right? Does anybody have access to them or are they just lost in the ether or something forever?” he asked his feed.
Users were quick to clown on Portnoy for his question, especially given his ongoing investment series on Barstool’s website, reviling in the irony.
“Did you take a picture of them? If so they become an NFT. Then they get their value back if, before midnight, you print that picture, fold it three times, and shove it up your ass,” one user said.
“Future Ponzi schemer is confused about being Ponzi schemed,” said another.
Portnoy eventually asked FTX’s founder to go on his show to get answers. Bankman-Fried did not join in.
One user, though, let Portnoy know that those coins were probably lost forever.
“You never owned any bitcoins unless you withdrew them to your own control. If you paid FTX or anyone else for ‘Bitcoin’ which you then just kept in their system then you only owned a claim or IOU which at this point sadly may not be redeemable,” they said.