The news that FTX, the cryptocurrency company, filed for bankruptcy protection amid news it was short billions of dollars has spawned many conspiracy theories being shared on social media. Viral tweets like this one posted on November 13th claim that U.S. aid to Ukraine was laundered back to the Democratic Party through the failed cryptocurrency exchange firm FTX. An article in the conservative site The Gateway Pundit with the headline “Tens of Billions of US Dollars Were Transferred to Ukraine and then Using FTX Crypto Currency the Funds Were Laundered Back to Democrats in US” was shared widely on social media. There is no evidence to support this claim. The Ukrainian government has not invested nor stored money in FTX, according to the country’s Ministry of Digital Transformation. The claim has been rated False.
The collapse of FTX was catalyzed by a tweet on Sunday, November 6th, by the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao:
As part of Binance’s exit from FTX equity last year, Binance received roughly $2.1 billion USD equivalent in cash (BUSD and FTT). Due to recent revelations that have came to light, we have decided to liquidate any remaining FTT on our books. 1/4
Before this date, however, FTX’s actions were heavily scrutinized by conservative commentators on Twitter despite the fact that FTX donated to both political parties. Even before the collapse, efforts were made to link FTX’s actions to the Democratic Party. For example, on November 4th, Wayne Vaughan, CEO of Tieron tweeted, “Sam [Sam Bankman-Fried. former CEO of FTX] is one of the largest Democrat donors. It’s logical that he’d want to get the bill done before Republicans take control of Congress.”
On November 8, when it became clear that FTX was floundering, commentators attempted to blame the company’s troubles on their political involvement (example here). While the results were being tallied, early conspiracy theories emerged (example here). These theories later evolved into the story that now links FTX, the Democrats, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine when it became clear that the Democratic party performed better than the previous media narrative would suggest.
While FTX’s bankruptcy has begun to offer insights into possible gaps in financial controls that resulted in their collapse, the full story will not be known until detailed audits are completed. To date, the promoters of the FTX/Ukraine/Democrat narrative have not offered any supporting evidence for their theory. This is, of course easily explained by these promoters who claim that there is a cover-up and no evidence would be available.