Disgraced Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison talked about “regular amphetamine use” in an April 2021 Twitter thread – more than one year before the FTX-linked crypto hedge fund imploded.
Ellison, the close business associate and confirmed ex-girlfriend of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, has been under intense scrutiny since Alameda and other FTX Group-linked entities filed for bankruptcy last week after running out of cash.
“Nothing like regular amphetamine use to make you appreciate how dumb a lot of normal, non-medicated human experience is,” Ellison said in the tweet dated April 5, 2021.
Her casual drug reference went viral on social media platforms, including Twitter and Reddit, amid reports that FTX funneled $10 billion in client funds to Alameda to help bolster the firm’s risky bets. At least $1 billion of those funds is reportedly still missing following the fund’s implosion.
The tweet were still live on her Twitter handle @CarolineCapital as of Tuesday morning. Bankman-Fried has regularly interacted with the account in the past.
Ellison did not elaborate on which drug she had taken. Amphetamine can be prescribed under the brand name Adderall and others as medication to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Rumors of amphetamine use among top FTX and Alameda brass have run wild in recent days. In a resurfaced podcast interview from Oct. 2020, Bankman-Fried himself admitted to experimenting with Adderall and other amphetamines.
Bankman-Fried said nootropics, or brain-boosting drugs, can be “life-changing,” though the effects for most aren’t much “different than coffee.”
“In general, probably half of all people or more should be taking meds of some kind, because they just make your life a lot better,” Bankman-Fried said while touting the benefits of Adderall and other drugs.
Late last week, a bombshell report revealed that Ellison was part of a 10-person “cabal of roommates” that managed operations for FTX and Alameda from a luxury penthouse in The Bahamas.
The report said the group consisted of former classmates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the quantitative trading firm Jane Street that all “are, or used to be, in romantic relationships with each other. The report also said that Ellison and Bankman-Fried have occasionally dated while running their crypto empire.
In an interview with the New York Times, Bankman-Fried confirmed that he and Ellison were no longer romantically involved but declined to comment further on the situation.
Elsewhere, tech blog Futurism uncovered what they said “strongly appears to be” Ellison’s Tumblr account. The account under the handle “worldoptimization” has been deleted but is still visible via the Wayback Machine.
In posts widely circulating on social media, the account holder, purported to be Ellison, wrote about her “foray into poly” – a reference to polygamy. Ellison, Bankman-Fried are others are said to have been in a “polycule,” or network of interconnected romantic relationships with multiple participants.
“When I first started my foray into poly, I thought of it as a radical break from my trad past, but tbh I’ve come to decide the only acceptable style of poly is best characterized as something like ‘imperial Chinese harem,’” the account’s owner said.
“None of this non-hierarchical bulls—t; everyone should have a ranking of their partners, people should know where they fall on the ranking, and there should be vicious power struggles for the higher ranks.”
Futurism noted the Tumblr account was once linked to Ellison’s Twitter handle.
“If the Tumblr is legit, which seems overwhelmingly likely, it contains a number of posts that stick out as bizarre, objectionable, or downright cringe,” Futurism said.
The Post could not independently verify whether the Tumblr account actually belonged to Ellison.
Bankman-Fried further raised alarm bells with a series of cryptic, one-letter tweets that spelled out “What Happened,” along with a disclaimer that his tweets were “not legal advice” or “financial advice.”
The strange tweet thread led cryptocurrency YouTuber Stephen “Coffeezilla” Findeisen to declare that Bankman-Fried was “on the amphetamines again…”
The Post attempted to reach Ellison for comment through FTX, an email address for Alameda Research and the lawyer listed on FTX’s bankruptcy filing, but did not immediately receive a response. Alameda Research’s website appears to have been taken offline.
Ellison, 28, was first named Alameda Research’s co-CEO in July 2021 and took over as the fund’s sole top boss following the resignation of her former co-chief executive Sam Trabucco last August. At the time of her tweet, Ellison was still working for the firm as a trader.
Alameda played a key role in FTX’s meltdown – which began after CoinDesk reported that the hedge fund was heavily invested in FTT, a token issued by FTX. The disclosure prompted rival Binance to dump its FTT holdings and sparked a liquidity crunch that toppled FTX Group within days.
Ellison has been silent as Bankman-Fried and others scramble to explain what went wrong for FTX – a firm whose assets once drew a $32 billion valuation and was once touted as a leading force in the cryptocurrency sector. Bankman-Fried has stated that Alameda is winding down its operations following the collapse.
Ellison graduated from Stanford University and worked as a trader at Jane Street before jumping to FTX and Alameda. Her father, Glenn Ellison, is head of the economics department at MIT.