May 19, 2024

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Billionaire Orlando Bravo recently stated that he is dismayed to learn that not all of the crypto sector adheres to the same ethical standards as private equity.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the co-founder of Thoma Bravo stated, “I’ve gotten to know that world a little bit more, and some of the business practices don’t rise to the level of ethics that we’re all used to in private equity with your investors and your customers and your community, and that has been a bit disappointing.”

Known crypto enthusiast ‘disturbed’ by ethical standards

Orlando Bravo is also a known investor in bitcoin and has often taken a bullish stance on the sector. Thoma Bravo also joined a number of other significant companies in a $900 million Series B investment round in Sam Bankman-FTX Fried’s Trading Ltd. in July last year. The firm reportedly ended up investing about $150 million in FTX and some other major crypto businesses.

With regard to future deals, Bravo said, “We do more of what has been very, very successful and if something is not successful yet, we don’t rush to do 10 other things…We’re really happy with what we have and we want to see that grow and be successful before we can do a lot more.” 

While the executive called out the sector for a “disturbing lack of transparency,” he also opined that the ethical problems would “get fixed over time” as the industry matures.

Mature or not, the industry has ethical issues

Earlier this year, another FT report highlighted that some exchange platforms with VC verticals might be misusing their position for profits. For instance, the report noted that Coinbase might be taking undue advantage of the ‘Coinbase Effect’ through Coinbase Ventures.

While the exchange soon refuted the claims, the same platform was also hit by a lawsuit recently with allegations of “materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations, and compliance policies.”

In addition, the Terra ecosystem collapse and the domino effect of the crisis also raised ethical questions with reports of personal harm amid huge losses.

Despite the existing loopholes, regulations also seem to be slowly catching up in the broader crypto sector. Last year, the Texas Ethics Commission proposed a new set of guidelines to declare crypto contributions made to political committees, candidates, and officeholders. Some time back, South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) released the first set of ethical principles for the metaverse.

That said, while sports partnerships have remained a lucrative option for the visibility of crypto platforms, new advertising regulations have also tightened for investor protection.

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