FTX Collapse: Shocked? You Shouldn’t Be.

Ivan Hong
3 min readNov 10, 2022

We are saddened by the recent events. Our thoughts go out to all affected by the collapse of FTX, the world’s second largest crypto exchange.

We are saddened, but not shocked. It is a familiar pattern; the latest in a long line of collapsed centralized finance institutions: Terra, 3AC, Celsius, and Hodlnaut. Lest we forget, QuadrigaCX, and Mt. Gox.

This line stretches all the way back to the very birth of our industry: with the collapse of the banking system in 2008 — and the accompanying release of the Bitcoin White Paper.

“The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve”, wrote Satoshi on the P2P Foundation forum in February 2009.

Yet, Satoshi might as well have been describing the state of centralized crypto platforms today. With perhaps the exception that now anyone can scour blockchain data for discrepancies between public statements, and private actions. But this is cold comfort for all who have suffered devastating losses.

We are reminded — painfully — time and again, of the urgent need for our industry to build more robust, competitive alternatives to alternatives to centralized financial intermediaries.

We must earn our right to exist, for good. Earn our place in the history books.

In the payments vertical, we have also experienced the dangers of centralized platforms. In 2020, 1,392 complaints were made against Monzo for freezing accounts without warning. Revolut withheld tens of thousands of dollars without explanation. Resolver froze more than 1,000 accounts, often without warning in 2021. In September, Paypal and Venmo were recently accused of shutting down the accounts of an LGBT organization. More recently, Paypal updated its terms of service agreement to authorize deductions of $2,500 fines from users’ accounts.

At Request Finance, we have built an enterprise crypto payments app with self-sovereignty at its core. We have simplified and automated over $250 million in crypto payroll, invoices, and more for over 2,300 enterprise teams — without a single dollar held in custody.

For all our users; freelancers, DAOs, and enterprise teams: over your own private keys, and assets — you are sovereign.

“There is but a single principle — the sovereignty of man over himself. This sovereignty of one’s self over one’s self is called Liberty”.

Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (1871)

A key for a scepter, a golden orb wrapped in a chain, and a crown upon an unknown sovereign

Payments are the building blocks of commerce and employment. We are eager to work with other builders and teams in the space, to simplify and automate crypto payments for millions of users in the real world.

The future is unwritten, and our work is not done.

If you would like to join our team, or partner with us to advance a more robust, reliable, and transparent financial system, reach out to us on Twitter on LinkedIn.