And while FTX’s $1 billion-a-year in revenue carries huge weight in crypto-land, in terms of credit and counterparty risk this exchange is nothing like a regulated Wall Street firm.

FTX is headquartered in the Bahamas because, as the New York Times newspaper puts it, 80% of its revenue stems from a trading instrument that remains illegal Stateside. Despite its turnover, it’s only ranked no. 22 on data firm Kaiko’s grading of exchanges based on metrics including risk controls, security and data quality. And Bankman-Fried’s memorable explanation of yield farming in April sounded to Matt Levine like a “Ponzi business.” Is this really the new face of Wall Street?

This isn’t to suggest that Bankman-Fried isn’t a canny investor; he’s clearly managed to design successful trading strategies and spot bets that pay off, such as his expletive-laden taunt on Twitter that he would buy Solana at $3 per token (it’s gone up more than tenfold since).

But comparing FTX to JPMorgan, or Warren Buffett, or even the Federal Reserve—whose creation was spurred by the 1907 market panic—is wrong, and borderline irresponsible. There’s nothing on display here that would stop Bitcoin falling further, and nothing that suggests FTX and others would be immune from the fallout. Martin Finnegan, a partner at law firm Punter Southall who has warned of the risks to institutional investors from offshore crypto trading platforms, says FTX’s actions look like a “sticking plaster.”

Or, another addition to a long line of turtles.

Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering digital currencies, the European Union and France. Previously, he was a reporter for Reuters and Forbes.

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