FTX t-shirts and swag were stashed away in trash bags during Miami's Art Basel, and some crypto diehards took them home as souvenirs




Art Basel 2021Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images
Art Basel 2021Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images  
  • The Solana Embassy, once backed by Sam Bankman-Fried, gave away free FTX t-shirts at Art Basel.

  • FTX merchandise was put in the space's storage room, but people still wanted to take photos with it.

  • Bankman-Fried had promised a $100 million investment into gaming projects on the Solana blockchain.

Crypto companies have been a mainstay at Art Basel Miami Beach over the past few years, and while Sam Bankman-Fried may be busy conducting a media tour from the Bahamas, his fallen firm FTX was still represented.

Merchandise from the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange was seen in a storage room at the Solana Embassy in Wynwood - a store and education center for the Solana blockchain, which was once backed by Bankman-Fried, Bloomberg reported.

Among the stash were close to 1,000 FTX Miami t-shirts, FTX bean bags, a framed Miami Heat jersey that featured an FTX logo, and a signed poster of chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen who took part in an FTX-sponsored tournament.

Solana tweeted about its events in Miami and said it had "about 1,000 FTX Miami shirts to get rid of."

"If you come to the store today or tomorrow, you can take one for free," the Solana Spaces account tweeted. "Donating the rest this week."

The t-shirts were originally only supposed to be free for those who opened FTX accounts at the Solana Embassy. Now, they are potential collectibles.

Jordan Prince, a blockchain developer, told Bloomberg that taking an FTX t-shirt was like having a souvenir from the collapsed investment bank Lehman Brothers.

"Of course everybody was talking about it, making jokes, people were coming in to take photos with all the FTX signage we had," Vibhu Norby, CEO of Solana Spaces, told Bloomberg.

The Solana Embassy previously housed an FTX Lounge, and the exchange was its biggest financial sponsor, according to Norby. Bankman-Fried had previously promised a $100 million investment into gaming projects on the Solana blockchain.

The price of Solana's token, SOL, fell to $13.50 at the beginning of December, after being worth over $30 at the beginning of last month, before FTX's collapse.

"I feel really bad about what's happening to Solana - at the end of the day it's its own community with its own product," Bankman-Fried said in a Twitter Spaces interview last weekend.

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