Crypto Twitter has been engulfed by a tantalizing controversy that has the entire community buzzing – the explosive, albeit fleeting, rise and precipitous fall of a new memecoin named BALD, launched on Base, and the unexpected name tied to it – Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the founder of FTX.
The BALD memecoin, humorously named after Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, launched on July 30 and took off on an unbelievable 290,000% gain within its first 24 hours. However, it wasn’t long before the euphoria turned sour as the anonymous deployer of BALD withdrew 10,705 ETH ($20 million) and 224.6 million BALD from liquidity, causing the token’s price to plummet by over 90%. Despite allegations of a ‘rug pull’, the deployer denied these accusations.
This chain of events led to the emergence of a captivating conspiracy theory tying Sam Bankman-Fried to the BALD coin. As first alleged by Twitter user @hype_eth, a variety of factors, ranging from the ETH flow between FTX and BALD, similar sentence structure in tweets, timing of on-chain activities, links with Alameda and FTX, to a speculated connection to the UST depegger that impacted LUNA, all seem to connect the dots back to SBF.
In a tweet thread, the user pointed out: “Thousands of ETH between FTX and Bald… Bald deployer tweets same sentence structure as SBF… Onchain activity times line up with court dates/bail… We know SBF was doing stuff through VPN recently… Ties with Alameda as well as FTX.”
– Thousands of ETH between FTX and Bald
– Bald deployer was first voter on all sushi proposals
– Bald deployer tweets same sentence structure as SBF
– Bald deployer was biggest DYDX farmer
– Bald deployer DYDX posts sound like SBF
— hype (@hype_eth) July 31, 2023
However, not everyone is buying this theory. Tiffany Fong, a crypto influencer who has been in contact with SBF since his arrest, debunks this conspiracy. According to Fong, Sam Bankman-Fried’s current bail conditions place severe restrictions on his internet usage, making his involvement in this scheme highly unlikely.
“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). Even visitors are now wanded down by security & forbidden from bringing in outside electronic devices,” Fong tweeted.
Another angle to the narrative is suggested by prominent trader Hsaka, who theorized a scenario where the launch and subsequent crash of BALD were timed to provide SEC Chair Gary Gensler with evidence against Coinbase, a former FTX rival. In a tweet, Hsaka outlined this theory: “SBF spotted in NY… BALD launches a couple days later… BALD rugs… Gary now has some ammo against Coinbase.”
This conspiracy has ignited a passionate debate in the crypto community, with speculations rife and theories afloat. The question of whether SBF, who is currently under house arrest awaiting his October trial, is the puppet master behind the BALD memecoin, remains a contentious issue.
Remarkably, the drama unfolding on Crypto Twitter is a vivid reminder of the speculative and often unpredictable nature of meme coins. But until concrete evidence surfaces, the SBF-BALD connection remains just that – a conspiracy.
At press time, the broader crypto market saw another push down. The total market cap fell to $1.126 trillion.
Featured image from Engadget, chart from TradingView.com