Ikigai Fund Caught Up in FTX Contagion

The company tweeted on Monday that it attempted to withdraw funds from FTX — very little could be retrieved

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Travis Kling, founder of Ikigai, at the Blockworks Digital Asset Summit in New York, September 2021: Photo: Mike Lawrence for Blockworks

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Travis Kling, the founder and chief investment officer of Ikigai, revealed that the cryptocurrency asset management firm has been caught up in the FTX collapse.

A large majority of the hedge fund’s assets had been on FTX, according to Kling. After the news of the centralized exchanges’ collapse, the company went to withdraw money, only to find it could retrieve very little.

“It was entirely my fault and not anyone else’s. I lost my investors’ money after they put faith in me to manage risk and I am truly sorry for that. I have publicly endorsed FTX many times and I am truly sorry for that. I was wrong,” Kling tweeted.

Kling said that in the short term, Ikigai would continue to trade assets which are not on FTX.

Ikigai previously raised $30 million from existing investors to launch a venture fund which was not affected by FTX’s collapse, according to Kling. It is currently in the process of deciding the next steps for this fund.

The company does not know what the timeline and potential recovery of funds will be. Ikigai is still in the process of deciding whether or not to continue running the firm and or begin winding down operations.

Kling expressed his disappointment in the industry and the scope of events which unfolded last week on Twitter, noting that it is “hard for me to imagine the space bouncing back quickly from this ordeal.”

“I just don’t have it in me at the moment. I’m pretty disgusted with the space as a whole and kinda humanity in general,” Kling tweeted.

Kling believes that for crypto to recover from the events that transpired, much more needs to be done to expel bad actors and remodel the concept of trust. 

“We’re letting way too many sociopaths get way too powerful and then we all pay the price. If Ikigai continues on, we pledge to fight harder in this regard. It’s a fight worth fighting,” he said.

Many industry participants have shown their support to the Ikigai team, with co-founder and CEO at ChintaiNetwork David Packham tweeting that, “Your only real mistake was trusting a firm backed by huge funds and regulated in a region was not a fundamental dishonest bad actor committing mass fraud.”

Ikigai declined Blockworks request for comment.


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