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Crypto boss laughs all the way to the bank

Photo: ReutersPremium
Photo: Reuters

FTX chief Sam Bankman-Fried probably cost himself some money by getting the numbers 420 and 69 into his latest fundraising, but Elon Musk’s example shows that juvenile humor can pay off

Elon Musk, eat your heart out.

When the Securities and Exchange Commission rapped the Tesla chief’s knuckles with a $20 million fine each for him and his company for his infamous August 2018 tweet falsely claiming Tesla might be taken private at $420 a share, he said it was worth it. Mr. Musk later reupped the marijuana gag with a more prurient one, selling satin short shorts for $69.420 on Tesla’s website.

But this week cryptocurrency exchange FTX probably left even more money on the table to get a giggle from the meme-stock crowd. It raised exactly $420,690,000 from 69 funds, valuing the company at about $25 billion by drawing in straitlaced investors such as BlackRock and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

One wonders how many potential buyers were turned away and how much money was left on the sidelines to precisely hit those two numbers. For now, the joke is on the skeptics. Mr. Musk is said to be the world’s second-richest man with a fortune of $151 billion, and FTX’s boss, Sam Bankman-Fried, is reportedly the richest person in crypto with a net worth of $22.5 billion. Just wait until bitcoin hits $69,420.

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