FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried: The real pain in cryptocurrencies is likely over

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX (FTT-USD), said Friday that the worst of the declines in the cryptocurrency space are likely over.

“The real pain, I think, came three to four months ago,” the billionaire crypto investor told CNBC. “We don’t necessarily foresee more pain from here. Things have very much stabilized in the space.”

Earlier this year, crypto prices dropped sharply, as rising interest rates put pressure on more speculative assets. In that selloff, Bitcoin (BTC-USD) went from a high near $69K to a 2022 low below $18K. Lately, Bitcoin has been hovering around $20K.

The slide early in 2022 also impacted other parts of the crypto market. Ethereum (ETH-USD) dropped from a level above $4.8K to a 2022 low below $900. Names like Cardano (ADA-USD), Solana (SOL-USD) and Dogecoin (DOGE-USD) also lost huge portions of their value during the slide.

The sudden crumbling of the crypto space undermined many players in the sector. FTX has been a high-profile savior for some of its struggling competitors. This included deals to provide funding to BlockFi and a backstop to Voyager Digital. The crypto exchange also took a stake in Robinhood (HOOD).

In his latest move, Bankman-Fried’s FTX Ventures has taken a 30% stake in SkyBridge Capital, the investment firm run by former Trump staffer Anthony Scaramucci.

Commenting on the deal, Bankman-Fried said the move was aimed at bringing together the digital asset community with the traditional asset community.

Asked what it would take to bring Bitcoin (BTC-USD) back to $60K, Bankman-Fried said the crypto space would benefit from a general rally in asset prices, as well as from “regulatory clarity.” Longer-term, he believes demand for cryptocurrencies will be driven by expanding use cases for the technology.

For another perspective on the crypto market, see why Seeking Alpha contributor Dang Quan Vuong says “investment vehicles are quite bearish” on Bitcoin.