Alameda Research’s Assets Reportedly “Entirely Illiquid,” Is All Crypto At Risk?

Alameda Research is on thin ice if we’re to believe the latest report. Sam Bankman-Fried’s trading firm appears to have most of its assets in illiquid altcoins, which is bad enough. Worse even is that the lion’s share of its assets is in FTT, the token created by his derivatives exchange FTX. If that’s true, the house of cards is built on shaky ground. And if something as big as Alameda Research falls, contagion could affect the whole crypto space. In a big way.

However, there’s no guarantee that this is the whole picture. The report comes from “a private financial document reviewed by CoinDesk” and the publication concedes “It is conceivable the document represents just part of Alameda Research.” In any case, according to the documents, Alameda Research reports $14.6B in assets and $8B in liabilities.

Alameda Research Is All In On FTT

There’s nothing wrong with going all in if the conviction is there. When the investment is in your own token, though, it opens the door to all kinds of risks. The FTT token is similar to Binance’s extremely successful BNB. It’s the FTX ecosystem’s utility token and it offers holders all kinds of benefits and discounts in trading and transaction fees. So, FTX constantly pushes the FTT token and nobody bats an eye.

WOW

Per CoinDesk, Alameda research has $14.6 billion of assets, against $8b of liabilities.

For assets: $3.66b FTT, $2.16b “FTT collateral”, $3.37b crypto ($292m SOL, $863m “locked SOL”), $134m USD & $2b “equity securities.

Most net equity tied in completely illiquid altcoins.

— Dylan LeClair (@DylanLeClair_) November 2, 2022

Noted analyst Dylan LeClair further broke down Alameda Research’s assets, while commenting: “Most net equity tied in completely illiquid altcoins.” 

$3.66B FTT
$2.16B “FTT collateral”
$3.37B crypto ($292M SOL, $863M “locked SOL”)
$134M USD
$2B equity securities

Back to the report, Alameda Research’s alleged financial details contain entirely too much FTT:

“The financials make concrete what industry-watchers already suspect: Alameda is big. As of June 30, the company’s assets amounted to $14.6 billion. Its single biggest asset: $3.66 billion of “unlocked FTT.” The third-largest entry on the assets side of the accounting ledger? A $2.16 billion pile of “FTT collateral.”

There are more FTX tokens among its $8 billion of liabilities, including $292 million of “locked FTT.” (The liabilities are dominated by $7.4 billion of loans.)”

Is that a problem? Dylan LeClair puts it into perspective: “The total market cap of FTT is $3.35b, & the fully diluted market cap is $8.8b. You couldn’t sell $1m of this thing without pushing the market significantly lower.” That’s right, they hold the entire future of FTT in their hands. Which is not ideal.

FTT price chart on FTX | Source: FTT/USD on TradingView.com

Is Alameda Research In Deep Trouble?

If it’s perspective you want, Swan Bitcoin’s Cory Klippsten puts it even more eloquently. “It’s fascinating to see that the majority of the net equity in the Alameda business is actually FTX’s own centrally controlled and printed-out-of-thin-air token,” Coindesk quotes him saying. How bad is it for Alameda Research, though? Well, according to LeClair, Alameda Research’s assets contain $5.82B worth of FTT, and the token’s current market cap is $3.35B. Which is not ideal. 

We do know that Alameda was a debtor to Voyager at the time of the 3AC bankruptcy, to the tune of $370 million.

Just how much USD denominated liabilities do they have against that illiquid pile of assets… https://t.co/0MtFaOpVSl pic.twitter.com/pESSmIWuYP

— Dylan LeClair (@DylanLeClair_) November 2, 2022

“We don’t have insight into what the liabilities are denominated in. If it’s primarily USD, Alameda is in DEEP trouble. The asset side of their BS is entirely illiquid. If it’s loans denominated in ‘crypto’, it’s better, but still not great,” LeClair tweeted. Then, his criticism reaches new levels as he further explains the scheme. “99%+ of token is held by top 1% of addresses, of which the largest holder is a hedge fund, Alameda Research, who’s VC arm recently merged with FTX.”

If the reports are true, we might have focused on the wrong problems. Noted analyst Cobie goes for the throat, “the funniest part of this to me is not the insanity of Alameda owning almost all of the float of FTT, but it’s that significant assets on their balance sheet include “MAPS, OXY and FIDA.” 

Featured Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay | Charts by TradingView

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