Tom Brady looking to the side with a blank stare

Tom Brady, the quarterback of the Miami Buccaneers, had announced a brand ambassador partnership with FTX back in 2021.
Photo: Mike Ehrmann (Getty Images)

The collapse and buyout of one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges FTX is set to hurt the company’s investors bigtime. Notably, one of those investors is one of American Football’s most well-known players who may be stuck on the field even longer than he wants to be.

Back in 2021 Tom Brady and his then wife, Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen, reportedly planted a large stake into the FTX crypto exchange, after having already announced a partnership with FTX and its CEO Sam Bankman-Fried back in 2020. As brand ambassadors, the two gained an unknown equity stake in the company in exchange for crypto, likely FTX’s native coin FTT.

On Tuesday, FTX announced it would be bought out by its rival Binance, now looking to cement itself as the largest degrading egg carton on the quickly disintegrating crypto trash heap. This is on top of liquidity issues that have stopped users from being able to withdraw their crypto funds from the exchange. FTX has promised users they would reimburse them, but they have yet to produce a timetable when this could happen.

The Buccaneers quarterback reportedly has a $250 million net worth compared to Bündchen’s $400 million, according to the tracking site Celebrity Net Worth. The “long-term partnership” with FTX penned in 2021 also mentioned both celebrities and the crypto company would be providing an annual multi-million contribution to charity. The collapse of FTX may put both stars’ fortunes in jeopardy.

At the time, Brady said in a press release that “Sam and the revolutionary FTX team continue to open my eyes to the endless possibilities” of crypto. Bündchen also said in the release: “Cryptocurrency will become more and more familiar to all of us as time goes on.”

How much both celebrities put into the exchange remains unclear, though reports showed FTX’s valuation increased over 1,000% in 2021 from $89 million to over $1 billion. As pointed out by CoinDesk, FTX was looking at a $1 billion funding round and a $32 billion valuation in recent months.  

Gizmodo reached out to press teams for both Brady and Bündchen, but we did not immediately hear back. Brady and Bündchen finalized their divorce in October, and though the 45-year-old Brady had initially planned to retire from the NFL this year, he’s stayed on as the Buccaneers quarterback. The jokes are already flying that this latest financial disappointment could set back Brady’s retirement even more.

Brady has already been active in the crypto sphere, helping found a NFT startup called Autograph that made non-fungible tokens for the NFL. He was just one of many celebrities that jumped on the crypto bandwagon back in 2021, when blockchain bulls were promoting that the value of crypto would only ever go up. During that year’s superbowl, actor Matt Damon stumped for with his infamous “Fortune Favors the Brave” ad.

Brady’s likely tossing a lot more than a Microsoft Surface out on the field with news of FTX going up in smoke, but it’s likely nothing compared to how the publicly calm and collected FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried reacted to the news.

Now that it’s becoming more clear that FTX was a sandcastle built on an outgoing tide, Bankman-Fried’s $15.6 billion piggy bank could soon slip away as well. The 30-year-old billionaire had a 53% stake in his own company worth $6.2 billion and another $7.5 billion in his crypto research firm Alameda, according to Bloomberg. As of Tuesday, Bankman-Fried cannot even be found on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, meaning the company expects the young man’s fortune to be all but wiped out, leaving him with just a measly $1 billion, a 94% loss.

Crypto and financial analysts have already analyzed Binance CEO Chengpeng Zhao’s motivations and methods for why he’s decided to buy up his competitor. Zhao owned quite a large stake of FTT tokens after the founder split from Bankman-Fried and took a payout in crypto, according to Fortune. After dumping all those tokens over the weekend, Zhao essentially took the bottom out from the SBF’s ship, and in just a few days neither FTX nor Alameda had any real legs to stand on.

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