Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort Admits He Lost $300,000 in Crypto Hacking – Here’s What Happened
Jordan Belfort, the former stockbroker known as ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, claims he lost more than $300,000 worth of crypto in a hack last year and that he moved all his assets from exchanges to cold storage.
Belfort, who is also notorious as a convicted financial criminal, went on Yahoo Finance Live last week to discuss, among other things, the fallout of FTX collapse and sell off of the crypto market.
When asked how much he himself trusts crypto exchanges at this point, given that he has “skin in the game,” Belfort suggested that there is none.
“So I actually got hacked. I lost about, it was 300-something thousand dollars on [crypto wallet] MetaMask last year.”
He did not specify how he was hacked, when exactly, how much crypto was taken, or whether there was (or is) any investigation into the matter.
That said, Belfort claimed that he no longer holds any assets on exchanges, saying:
“I don’t have any of my money in any crypto on exchanges. It’s all gone […] in a cool box, so to speak, with [crypto wallet] Ledger.”
He opined that this is “a very, very, very tough industry right now” because it is “literally like the Wild West.”
The cause — as well as the solution — comes down to regulation, Belfort argued.
“[The industry is] in desperate need of regulation, in desperate need of the SEC [US Securities and Exchange Comission] or a body to step in here and bring at least some level of order to the chaos. Even after they do, there will still be fraud. It always is in every market.”
When asked what he thought was necessary for the industry to regain trust and limit fraud, Belfort suggested that the vast majority of cryptocurrencies, around 99.99% of them, should be regulated as securities.
“Bitcoin, I don’t think it’s a security. Bitcoin is really a commodity or property, whatever you want to call it. It’s decentralized, so I think it’s a completely different thing, Ethereum as well,” he stated.
He went on to say that there may be some other cryptos that aren’t securities either, but that “I don’t really own any of the others. I own those two are the only things I own. I have a few little things, but it’s on on my own, right, which I never sold, and it’s just speculative investment.”
“FTX is not an exchange”
For most of the interview, the former stockbroker discussed the FTX implosion and the problems it has caused.
However, he said there is a “misconception” about FTX, claiming that
“The crypto world has a strange way of putting labels and calling things things they’re not. Like, FTX, in my mind, is not an exchange. It’s a […] self-clearing brokerage firm.”
Per Belfort, what the company did was a scam, saying:
“It was a brokerage where they commingled funds and they took the money and just spent it on some lavish spending. But they also lost a lot of money just being lousy traders.”
There’s no way to tell how many bad actors are out there in the room, he said, adding that there are probably many more. But he mentioned an exception.
“The only exception, I would say, is probably Coin base, is a listed– reports to SE– I would be shocked to learn that Coinbase was insolvent. I mean, that would be very shocking to me.”
On the other hand, offshore companies don’t report to US regulators, and “there’s no way of knowing what they’re actually doing.”
Furthermore, there is the issue of contagion and unregulated companies exchanging funds between them, Belfort suggested, concluding that,
“[T]hey everyone invest in each other and borrow from each other and leverage. There is a lot of it. I guess it’s a house of cards and mirror at the same time, where they pump up the values. They issue their own tokens and one person buys another. It’s crazy, isn’t it?”
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