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Joanna Ossinger

Scaramucci Invests in Crypto Firm Set Up by Ex-FTX US Head

Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital II LLC, speaks during the International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA) Toronto Global Forum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. The Toronto Global Forum is a non-profit organization fostering dialogue on national and global issues that brings together heads of states, central bank governors, ministers and global economic decision makers. (Bloomberg)

Anthony Scaramucci said he is investing in a company set up by Brett Harrison, the former president of defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX US.

Scaramucci will be using his own money for the venture to show support for Harrison, he said in an email. 

Harrison had been seeking funding for a crypto software company at a valuation of up to $100 million, Bloomberg News reported last month. The proposed idea was for software that crypto traders could use to write algorithms for their strategies and to access different types of crypto markets, both centralized and decentralized, two people familiar with the matter said at the time.

“Anthony has been a true mentor and friend to me since I joined the crypto industry two years ago,” Harrison said in a reply to questions by Bloomberg News. “I’m honored to have him as an investment partner, and know his guidance will be invaluable as I begin this new chapter.” 

FTX Ventures, the venture capital unit of Sam Bankman-Fried’s now-imploded crypto empire, announced in September it took a 30% stake in Scaramucci’s Skybridge Capital and that the firms would expand their collaboration on venture and digital asset investing. Amid FTX’s descent into bankruptcy, Scaramucci said SkyBridge would work to repurchase that stake — and he later said he’d done some checks on Bankman-Fried before the deal but that it was “not enough.”

Harrison worked at FTX US for about 17 months, stepping down in September. Prior to that, he had been at Citadel Securities and quantitative trading firm Jane Street, where he had worked with Bankman-Fried.

Scaramucci commented about the investment in a reply to a Twitter thread by Harrison about his experiences at FTX US. 

“Brett was a great developer and deeply understood FTX’s product,” Bankman-Fried said in a comment to Bloomberg News about Harrison’s Twitter thread. “While I strongly disagree with much of what he said, I have no desire to get into a public argument with him, nor do I feel like it’s my place to litigate his job performance in public, unless he were to authorize me to do so.” 

Bankman-Fried added, “I feel bad about what happened to all of FTX’s employees, and wish him the best.”

--With assistance from Annie Massa and Hannah Miller.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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