Expect ‘records broken’ by Bitcoin ETF: Brett Harrison (ex-FTX US), X Hall of Flame

Bitcoin

The former president of FTX US dishes the dirt on his falling out with former Jane Street colleague Sam Bankman-Fried and predicts the spot Bitcoin ETF will far outshine the record-breaking success of the Bitcoin Futures ETF.

Who is this guy anyway?

The ex-president of FTX US, Brett Harrison, tells Magazine that he didn’t say a single word to Sam Bankman-Fried during the two-month notice period after he resigned, which was only months before the whole exchange blew up. Even getting a message to SBF to say he was resigning in the first place was hard work.

“I had to talk to other people in the company to formally resign. I wrote one text to Sam and I got back a single heart emoji. That was the last I heard from him,” Harrison declares.

Harrison and Bankman-Fried had been colleagues years earlier at quantitative trading firm Jane Street, where Harrison saw his potential while teaching SBF in a course on programming for traders. But things went south real quick between them at FTX.

Harrison claims it was due to Bankman-Fried’s inflated ego and his reluctance to accept any feedback or advice.

“Sam hated criticism and, as a result, refused to communicate with me. It drove my decision to quit even further,” he says.

Yet, Harrison says he had no clue of the storm about to engulf the company with FTX declaring bankruptcy only a few months after he bailed from the U.S. arm of exchange.

“The rest of us, especially in the U.S., were blindsighted. We were working with regulators, top lawyers, and to have the whole organization fail because of one person’s greed, will stay with us for the rest of our life.”

However, he feels justice was done in the recent fraud trial against his former boss.

“I do feel the result was absolutely just, and I’m glad that justice was served quickly; I think it was essential that Sam was held accountable for his actions,” he declares.

Meanwhile, Harrison wasted no time diving into a new project.

He co-founded Architect.xyz, a DeFi platform that focuses on bridging all the different opportunities in the digital asset space for both institutional and retail investors.

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Harrison is a bit of a brainiac and has a computer science degree focused on artificial intelligence (AI) from Harvard University. So, who better to ask about the potential for AI to take over the world?

“I do not think AI is a threat to humanity,” he declares, pointing out that AI has been in development for much longer than people think:

“Lots of people are now seeing AI for the first time, they don’t appreciate the decades of progress that has gone into it.”

Harrison is more concerned about humans using AI to pull off scams and swipe identities more effortlessly.

“It truly is just linear algebra,” he says. “The idea that linear algebra is some existential threat to our survival just feels somewhat fanciful to people who have been practitioners in the field for a long time.”

What led to Twitter Fame?

Harrison is a smart guy who drops interesting stuff on social media that people seem to dig.

But let’s not dance around the fact that the FTX connection is what blew up his follower numbers, with his count hitting its highest weekly peak when FTX took a nosedive in November 2022, when he gained 2,140 followers, according to data from Social Blade.

Back in January, his long rant about his departure from X got nearly 3 million eyeballs. He said he wasn’t canned from the FTX gig; it just wasn’t his dream job, and SBF was an “insecure, prideful manager.”

Content people can expect

If you scroll through Harrison’s timeline over the years, you’ll notice his glam lifestyle has toned down considerably since the FTX days. 

Back then, he was often seen hanging out with celebs and former prime ministers.

Nowadays, it’s way more low-key. Besides throwing in some market talk, Harrison’s been sharing snippets about his family life lately. 

He’s even flexing about saving toys from the FTX US office that somehow dodged the whole bankruptcy drama.

What type of content does he like?

Harrison loves the blend of genius and goofiness on Crypto X — getting a daily fix of humor and high intellect.

“One of the things I love about Crypto Twitter  is the perfect mix of highly intellectual cerebral, either Market structure or political commentary, and degenerate memes.”

However, when we asked about the accounts he’s into, he’s not that forthcoming. 

After doing some light digging, it turns out he’s following 2,100 accounts, and guess who’s in the mix? None other than Bankman-Fried’s pal Tiffany Fong.

Bitcoin predictions?

Harrison used to avoid making predictions, saying he’d never have predicted the events that happened to him. But that was when things were going too smoothly, and that’s all changed. 

Harrison declares there is a very “high probability” that a spot Bitcoin ETF will get approved in the first quarter of 2024.

As for price predictions? Harrison isn’t tossing out any six-figure numbers right away.

“In Q1 assuming there is an ETF that’s approved. I think something in the $50,000 to $55,000 range feels pretty probable,” he states.

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He doesn’t see Bitcoin hitting six figures until “toward the end of 2024 or early 2025 at the earliest.”

He points to the first day of Bitcoin Futures ETF as just a little hint of how optimistic he is about the spot Bitcoin ETF:

“If you remember the day when a Bitcoin Futures ETF was listed the inflows were some of the highest ever seen in the history of ETFs. I think we’re going to see even more records broken for a spot Bitcoin ETF.”

Ciaran Lyons

Ciaran Lyons is an Australian crypto journalist. He’s also a standup comedian and has been a radio and TV presenter on Triple J, SBS and The Project.

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