CEO of crypto news site The Block resigns for failing to disclose $27M loans from Alameda Research
New CEO Bobby Moran said there was no evidence that Mike McCaffrey had “improperly” influenced coverage of Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX, or Alameda Research on the news site.
Bobby Moran of crypto news website the Block has announced he will be assuming the position of chief executive officer following the resignation of Mike McCaffrey, who reportedly financed the platform through loans from Alameda Research.
In a Dec. 9 announcement, Moran said McCaffrey had made an executive decision to restructure The Block in 2021 which involved a two loans totaling $27 million from Alameda Research — a hedge fund part of former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX Group. Axios reported there was also a third $16-million loan in 2022 that McCaffrey used to purchase property in the Bahamas.
According to Moran, the former CEO of The Block failed to disclose the loans to the site’s leadership team, demonstrating “a serious lack of judgment.” The platform’s leadership asked Moran to step down.
“No one at The Block had any knowledge of this financial arrangement besides Mike,” said Moran. “From our own experience, we have seen no evidence that Mike ever sought to improperly influence the newsroom or research teams, particularly in their coverage of SBF, FTX, and Alameda Research.”
According to McCaffrey’s LinkedIn, he became CEO in April 2020 after separate tenures as COO and chief of staff at the platform starting in 2018. The now former CEO reportedly led the charge in buying out non-employee shareholders in April 2021, leading to McCaffrey having a majority stake in the site.
“I’m absolutely gutted by this news, which was briefed to the company this afternoon,” said The Block’s editor-at-large Frank Chaparro. “Underpinning my shock are feelings of utter disgust and betrayal by Mike’s actions, greed, lack of disclosure. He’s literal scum. He kept every single one of us in the dark.”
Clear SBF was a reckless moron and so was our former CEO
— Frank Chaparro (@fintechfrank) December 9, 2022
Related: FEC probe demanded after SBF ‘admitted’ making dark money donations
The platform’s page on financial disclosures stated it was “fully transparent about our own financial holdings so as to avoid any appearance of bias or impropriety.” Larry Cermak, The Block’s VP of research, posted a list of Alameda Research’s investments to his Twitter account on Dec. 6 — which included two of the loans to the platform — but did not disclose financial ties between the news site and the hedge fund.
“Mike never asked me or anyone in research to cover FTX or SBF in any particular way,” said Cermak, according to Axios. “Or anyone else, for that matter. We had complete discretion to do our jobs.”
In the wake of FTX’s bankruptcy filing on Nov. 11, many news outlets have revealed financial ties between Bankman-Fried or FTX Group companies and political figures in the United States, including lawmakers from both parties on committees investigating the exchange’s collapse. The Block has also regularly reported on Bankman-Fried, with the former FTX CEO sitting down for a two-hour interview with Chaparro released on Dec. 5.
Cointelegraph reached out to a policy reporter at The Block, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.