The FTX saga and the developments that led to the crypto exchange’s collapse will be framed in a new documentary focusing on the volatile relationship between Sam Bankman-Fried and one of his fiercest critics, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the production is a partnership between media outlet Fortune and Unrealistic Ideas, a non-scripted production company co-founded by American actor Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Archie Gips.
“The tumultuous relationship between SBF and CZ has played out to a certain extent in articles and on Twitter, but this definitive documentary will give people a 360-degree personal look at the entire FTX saga,” Fortune editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell said in a statement shared with Cointelegraph.
The documentary will focus on how Bankman-Fried, born into a prominent academic family with political connections, and Zhao, whose family fled from China to Canada when he was 12, came to be two of the most relevant figures in the crypto space, and how their relationship alternated between being allies and rivals.
For a brief recap, Zhao was at the epicenter of FTX’s dramatic collapse. At the beginning of November, the Binance CEO publicly disclosed plans to liquidate the company’s entire position in FTX’s native token, FTT.
According to CZ, the decision reflected “post-exit risk management” due to “recent revelations” around FTX. At the time, he also argued that Binance “won’t support people who lobby against other industry players behind their backs.”
FTX experienced a massive bank run as a result of CZ’s comments. Zhao’s move was crucial to further investigations regarding FTX’s management of funds with its sister company, Alameda Research.
Another noteworthy moment in the relationship between the crypto entrepreneurs came to light on Dec. 14. In a hearing before a United States Senate committee, investor Kevin O’Leary provided details about conversations with Bankman-Fried in the days before FTX filed for bankruptcy.
O’Leary said at the hearing that “these two [SBF and CZ] in an unregulated market [...] with this incredible business in terms of growth were at war with each other, and one put the other out of business, intentionally.”
The rise and fall of Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire are the topics of several film projects. As reported by Cointelegraph, Amazon’s video streaming service Prime is producing an eight-episode limited series about the scandals behind the crypto exchange. Also, author and financial journalist Michael Lewis, known for his book The Big Short, had spent six months with Bankman-Fried before FTX’s implosion for a forthcoming book and has reportedly sold the film rights to Apple.
Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company has no plans to change its long-term strategy for the metaverse, despite operating losses for its Reality Labs business peaking in 2022.
Meta on Feb. 1 released earnings showing that Reality Labs lost $13.7 billion in 2022 — the largest ever yearly losses recorded for its metaverse-building division.
The fourth quarter was particularly costly, with the division losing nearly $4.3 billion, which was also the largest quarterly loss within the department since financials for the business were first published.
On a Feb. 1 earnings call, Zuckerberg was steadfast in the company’s metaverse strategy. Answering a question about how the firm’s efficiency applies to Reality Labs, he answered:
“None of the signals that I've seen so far suggest that we should shift the Reality Labs strategy long term.”
He added that later in 2023 the company would launch another “next generation consumer headset” following the October launch of its Quest Pro Virtual Reality (VR) headset.
Meta’s chief financial officer, Susan Li, similarly doubled down on the Reality Labs business, echoing Zuckerberg’s statement from a Q3 earnings call that losses in the business would increase in 2023.
“We still expect our full-year Reality Labs losses to increase in 2023, and we're gonna continue to invest meaningfully in this area given the significant long-term opportunities that we see.”
Meta’s overall revenue for the fourth quarter was $32.1 billion, beating Wall Street expectations.
The better-than-expected revenue figures caused Meta’s stock price to jump after the bell, gaining nearly 19.5% in after-hours trading at the time of writing, according to Yahoo Finance.
Only days after the launch of the Bitcoin-based Ordinals protocol, its creator had to deal with their first shock pornographic image, which has been inscribed into the blockchain.
On Feb. 2 at around 12:15 am UTC, an unsavory image known as “goatse” was inscribed onto the Bitcoin blockchain via the Ordinals protocol.
It featured on inscription 668 and was live on the Ordinals’ front page for roughly half an hour before the image was removed. It still exists on the blockchain but is not able to be viewed using the Ordinals website.
Ordinals creator Casey Rodarmor told Cointelegraph he acted quickly to remove the image from the Ordinals website but admitted there isn’t much that can be done to stop future instances given the nature of the protocol.
He is at least working on a solution to stop the images appearing on the Ordinals website.
The image, known as “goatse,” depicts a man manipulating his anus. Due to its shock value, it’s often used to trick internet users.
Rodamor said for the moment, that there was no way to hide certain inscriptions on the Ordinals’ website without manual input.
“The explorer has a config file that can be used to hide certain inscriptions, so we decided that was not very pleasant to look at,” he said. “We added it to that config file and now the server does not return that inscription and will not return that content.”
Ordinals has a simplistic website with every new inscription appearing on its home page.
While Rodarmor plans to have a “very liberal content policy” where people will “certainly” be able to inscribe pornographic images, he would like to censor them until he finds a way to automatically keep them off the first page, such as creating a separate space for them on the website.
Critics of blockchain technology have concerns that its immutable nature could be used to forever host illegal or grotesque media, while others argue its censorship resistance should be viewed as a key feature.
Asked if he was concerned about the criticism Ordinals may receive for censoring certain images, Rodarmor responded:
“The inscription is still on the chain and if you run your own copy of Ordinal — which everybody is free to do — it will not have that config file and you will see the gaping butthole if that is what you so desire.”
He added his site is just one instance of the block explorer and hopes others create more where they can “implement their own moderation policies according to their tastes.”
Rodarmor said it’s only the second time he’s censored a pornographic image. He believes the technical difficulty and cost of inscribing an image onto the BTC network have reduced the instances of such trolling attempts.
Ordinals launched on Jan. 21 and immediately divided the crypto community with arguments on whether it was good for the Bitcoin ecosystem.
The protocol works by inscribing satoshis — the native currency of the Bitcoin network — with content such as images to make NFT-like structures that can be transferred.
The cost of inscribing a satoshi can cost tens of dollars in comparison to a regular network transaction that ranges from a few cents to a few dollars.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.