The crisis engulfing Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX.com is rapidly worsening, with the onetime crypto wunderkind warning of bankruptcy if his firm can’t secure funds to cover a shortfall of as much as $8 billion. Bankman-Fried informed investors of the gap on Wednesday, shortly before rival exchange Binance abruptly scrapped a takeover offer. He said FTX.com needed $4 billion to remain solvent and is attempting to raise rescue financing in the form of debt, equity, or a combination of the two, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. “I f—ed up,” Bankman-Fried told investors on the call, according to people with knowledge of the conversation. He said he would be “incredibly, unbelievably grateful” if investors could help. An FTX representative declined to comment. The acknowledgment of his firm’s deepening troubles and limited options is a stunning turn for Bankman-Fried, who was once worth $26 billion and likened to John Pierpont Morgan. It also underscores the uncertainty hanging over FTX, its clients and cryptocurrency markets. US authorities are investigating FTX, the vast bulk of Bankman-Fried’s wealth has evaporated and rivals are benefiting from his woes. Robinhood Markets Inc. has seen its biggest crypto inflows ever in the last two days, Chief Executive Officer Vlad Tenev said Thursday. Binance and Coinbase Global Inc. have also seen large inflows, data from CryptoQuant show.
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