“All the crypto cowboys that were the founders of this industry," O’Leary said during an interview on CoinDesk TV, "they’re all going to be gone soon. ... They all have arrows in their backs.”
Despite all of this, O’Leary remains optimistic about crypto, but won’t get involved in an exchange unless it's 100% compliant.
"The promise of crypto still remains, it's still there," he said. "When you invest in venture capital ... eight out of 10 fail."
Michael Lewis's book on Sam Bankman-Fried, 'Going Infinite'
According to Michael Lewis’s new book, "Going Infinite," O’Leary was paid $15.7 million by FTX for “20 service hours, 20 social posts, one virtual lunch and 50 autographs.”
The usefulness of O’Leary as a spokesperson was questioned by some FTX executives, including Constance Wang, its former chief operating officer, according to the book.
“Investing is a social network. It makes no sense but it is,” is how Bankman-Fried explained it, who also allegedly tried to hire CNBC’s Jim Cramer, according to Lewis. “One million people follow O’Leary, and they follow him for his financial advice.”
“It’s shocking, but it’s true,” he continued.
Promoting another crypto exchange
During a separate appearance on Fox Business Network, he also mentioned M2, calling it “totally compliant, backed and incredibly stable that can be used by anyone on a compliant basis."
The remarks were so positive that last week M2 recirculated the clip from its own account on X (formerly Twitter).
O’Leary said he hasn’t yet been “invited to invest” in the exchange, nor is he being paid by them.
Last year, O’Leary appeared in a commercial for Abu Dhabi Global Market, the Emirate’s international financial center, called “Abu Dhabi Where Ambitions Thrive.”
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.