Crypto Twitter has been abuzz with debate after a new conspiracy theory has suggested FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried may be secretly behind one of the most controversial new memecoins on Base.
The BALD memecoin, which draws its namesake from a humorous reference to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, was launched on July 30 and witnessed an incredible 289,000% gain within the first 24 hours of trading.
just to catch you up
SBF the guy with the fake crypto exchange and responsible for one of the biggest frauds in history may have launched a $30m scam last weekend under a memecoin called BALD while on house arrest in his parents basement using the blockchain of a man who was… pic.twitter.com/VjnSJCxg0E
— RYAN SΞAN ADAMS – rsa.eth (@RyanSAdams) July 31, 2023
The ordeal led a number of blockchain sleuths to dig into the developer’s on-chain past, prompting some to draw a link to SBF as the Ethereum wallet address responsible for deploying the Bald token had received thousands of ETH in funding from wallets associated with FTX and Alameda Research.
One of the conspiracy theorists, anonymous decentralized finance (DeFi) commentator Downsin suggested that the link between the two meant that it was SBF “legit trying to make it all back from prison.”
— Downsin (@DeFiDownsin) July 30, 2023
Adding further fuel to the rumor was Blockworks data editor Andrew Thurman, who found that the same wallet address had made approximately 400 transfers to blacklisted USDT addresses and had “serious Alameda connections for sure.”
Prominent pseudonymous trader, Hsaka spelt out a conspiratorial scenario in which the launch of Bald — and its subsequent headline-grabbing crash — was perfectly timed to provide SEC Chair Gary Gensler with more ammunition to prosecute former FTX rival Coinbase.
>SBF spotted in NY
>One charge against him dropped few days later
>BALD launches couple days later
>Sucks in majority of onchain mindshare/liquidity
>Gary now has some ammo against Coinbase pic.twitter.com/nXLasTyG5P
— Hsaka (@HsakaTrades) July 31, 2023
Another anonymous commentator called “Hype” highlighted the number of eerie similarities that the developer shared with SBF, most notably the sentence structure of his social media posts. Additionally, Hype shared that the wallet had been around for a long time and was one of the first voters on proposals on the DeFi platform Sushi Swap.
‘Crypto Twitter is mentally ill’
Some crypto pundits argue it is unlikely that SBF would be behind such a scheme, as he currently faces a number of tight restrictions on his internet usage as part of his bail conditions.
Crypto influencer Tiffany Fong — who has spoken with SBF on multiple occasions since his arrest — slammed the conspiracy, clarifying that SBF has been using a “flip phone without internet connection” since his bail conditions were revised in April. In a subsequent post, she called Crypto Twitter “mentally ill.”
Guys, SBF hasn’t had access to a normal phone or laptop since April 2023 when his bail conditions changed. He’s basically been using a flip phone without internet connection & a laptop with restricted access to whitelisted websites (e.g. NYT, WSJ, Courtlistener, etc).
— Tiffany Fong (@TiffanyFong_) July 31, 2023
“He specifically does NOT have access to Twitter, so the claims that he’s @BaldBaseBald due to ‘sentence structure’ seem like a stretch to me lol,” Fong added.
Additionally, Fong explained that all of SBF’s visitors are searched by security and are forbidden from bringing in outside electronic devices.
Checked in for 5 minutes and apparently crypto Twitter believes that SBF rugged $BALD even though he has no internet access, computer or phone and is under house arrest and at risk of going to jail forever.
This place is ridiculous.
— The Wolf Of All Streets (@scottmelker) July 31, 2023
Pseudonymous trader HORSE also cast doubt on the likelihood of such a scenario, telling his 180,000 followers to take off their “tinfoil hats.”