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Bitcoiner who tried to trade his way to Alaska shares his ‘humbling’ experience

Despite coming up short of his goal, crypto trader Thomas Kralow said the crypto-funded expedition was all about two things: “Bitcoin and happiness.”



Despite coming up short of his goal, crypto trader Thomas Kralow said the crypto-funded expedition was all about two things: “Bitcoin and happiness.”

A Bitcoin (BTC) proponent’s recent attempt to crypto trade his way from New York to Alaska has come to a sudden and bitter end — some 900 miles from his final destination.

Thomas Kralow, a crypto trader and educator, recently set himself the daring task of traveling from one side of the United States to the other, funded solely by trading crypto.

On Aug. 12, Kralow set out from New York with his assistant Ilya and an initial budget of $5,000 cash.

The pair forked out some cash for a dinged-up Mercedes and set up a Starlink antenna on the back of the vehicle — with fast internet being a requirement for quick trades — leaving them with just $2,500 to trade their way to Alaska.

Unfortunately for Kralow, he never made it to his final destination — with his oil-starved vehicle grinding to a permanent halt in Seattle, just 12 days after starting the journey.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Kralow shared some details of the trip that didn’t make it into the six-episode YouTube series where he documented the daily happenings of the crypto-fueled voyage.

Kralow said that despite the trip being riddled with “insanely scary” lightning storms, wildfires, car troubles, theft and navigating a constantly changing landscape in a foreign country on a razor-thin budget, the biggest challenge of the entire journey was actually the trading itself.

“We had, like, $2,500 our initial trading deposit, and we had approximately $300 per day in expenses, which means every day, we had to earn, like, 12% to 14%,” he said.

“Anyone who is into the world of finance would think it’s just suicide, which it kind of was. I was very open from the start, and I just said, ‘Listen, if I blow the account, its just going to be done.’”

Despite the odds being firmly stacked against him, Kralow explained that it didn’t matter all that much that it was a potential suicide mission. While he admitted that some of the motivation behind the journey was growing his social media following, he said that he only wanted viewers to take away two things:

“It’s all about happiness and Bitcoin.”

“In these videos, I just wanted to show how important it is to lead a fulfilled and grateful life, as well as sharing knowledge about the most incredible industry and asset, which is Bitcoin and blockchain.”

Thomas Kralow poses with a Starlink antenna and his Mercedes. Source: X

Kralow, who routinely flaunts his wealth across his various social media channels, described the journey as a “kind of humbling” experience, saying that it helped take him back to his roots and reminded him of growing up in a home that was pretty far from wealthy.

“I just wanted to level with the world basically, go back to where I came from, and really just enjoy it again.”

Notably, Kralow said that the most surprising part of the entire adventure was the level of crypto literacy present in completely unexpected parts of the United States.

“I met this welder in Louisiana, and we had such a great conversation about the southern part of the United States and Bitcoin. He was driving a truck and chewing tobacco and spitting on the ground, and it really shocked me how well-educated he was on Bitcoin.”

Related: Bitcoin gains legal recognition as digital currency in Shanghai, China

This stood in stark contrast to Kralow’s experience in more tech-savvy parts of the U.S., like Silicon Valley, where he said he expected more knowledge around the concept of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

“And then we meet this other guy who presented as this stereotypically smart, well-dressed person in California, and he knew nothing about crypto or Bitcoin. We were talking about our trip, and he just asked us, ‘Oh, what even is Bitcoin?’”

The next order of business for Kralow after wrapping up the trip was lodging a request with Guiness Book of World Records.

“A lot of people have driven from wherever to wherever, but I’m pretty sure no one has ever driven more than 5,000 miles while surviving only on earnings from trading Bitcoin or crypto.”

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Ferrari to accept crypto payments in the US

Ferrari’s decision to accept cryptocurrency payments was driven by market demand and dealer requests, with numerous clients investing in digital currencies.



Ferrari’s decision to accept cryptocurrency payments was driven by market demand and dealer requests, with numerous clients investing in digital currencies.

Ferrari will accept cryptocurrency payments for its luxury sports cars in the United States due to customer demand. The carmaker also plans to accept crypto payments in Europe.

According to an Oct. 14 report from Reuters, Ferrari’s chief marketing and commercial officer, Enrico Galliera, confirmed the intentions of the luxury car brand. Ferrari’s choice to accept cryptocurrency payments was driven by market demand and dealer requests, with numerous clients, including crypto-savvy young investors, having invested in digital currencies.

Although Galliera didn’t specify the number of cars Ferrari expects to sell via crypto payments, he reportedly stated that the carmaker’s strong order portfolio is fully booked until 2025. Ferrari aims to test this expanding market to connect with potential buyers beyond its usual clientele. The luxury automaker plans to introduce cryptocurrency payments in Europe by the first quarter of 2024 and expand to other crypto-friendly regions after.

For its initial phase in the U.S., Ferrari has reportedly partnered with major cryptocurrency payment processor, BitPay. This collaboration enables transactions in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and USD Coin (USDC).

Galliera confirmed that there will be no additional fees or surcharges when using cryptocurrency, as BitPay will promptly convert cryptocurrency payments into conventional fiat currency for Ferrari’s dealers, ensuring they are shielded from cryptocurrency price fluctuations.

BitPay will also verify the legitimacy of the digital currency, ensuring it does not originate from illicit activities, money laundering or tax evasion.

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Many large corporations have hesitated to adopt cryptocurrencies due to their price volatility and associated transaction impracticality. Among these companies is Tesla, the electric vehicle manufacturer, which initially started accepting payments in Bitcoin in 2021. However, CEO Elon Musk suspended this payment method due to environmental concerns.

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Caroline Ellison wanted to step down but feared a bank run on FTX

Former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison recognized she wasn’t doing a good job months before the company filed for bankruptcy, but Sam Bankman-Fried persuaded…



Former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison recognized she wasn’t doing a good job months before the company filed for bankruptcy, but Sam Bankman-Fried persuaded her to stay.

Caroline Ellison wasn’t doing a good job leading Alameda Research in 2022, and she did not hide it. Excerpts from her personal notes shared as evidence by prosecutors in Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial revealed details about the trading firm’s struggles and its CEO’s desire to resign weeks and months before FTX collapsed.

Ellison spent over 10 hours testifying during Bankman-Fried’s trial this past week, notably entering through the front doors of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, joined by her attorneys. Ellison said she had not seen Bankman-Fried since the crypto empire failed in November 2022, but their communication had eroded months before.

In April 2022, their romantic relationship ended, and Caroline started avoiding meetings with Bankman-Fried even though they still lived in the same luxurious apartment in the Bahamas. Alameda’s growing liabilities with FTX and the breakup with Bankman-Fried made her consider leaving the company altogether.

“I feel like neither [Sam] Trabucco nor I have been doing a great job of pushing on stuff,” she wrote in the document to Bankman-Fried, which was shared as evidence during her cross-examination by the former FTX CEO’s defense counsel.

Bankman-Fried asked her to stay on, saying that her departure could create rumors about Alameda’s financial health, thus harming FTX’s credibility, so Ellison remained CEO.

Ellison joined Alameda as a trader in 2018. By 2020, she handled most of the company’s operations, while Bankman-Fried focused on his newly launched crypto exchange, FTX. In August 2021, she became co-CEO alongside Sam Trabucco, who stepped down a few months later, leaving her in charge of the company. In August 2022, Trabucco officially resigned as co-CEO.

Ellison was against creating FTX, she revealed. “I didn’t think of myself as ambitious before I started at Alameda, but I believe I became more ambitious” under Bankman-Fried’s incentive, she said.

As CEO, Ellison was in charge of handling Alameda’s crypto lenders. In mid-2022, after the Terra ecosystem failed, the company’s open-term loans stood at $1.3 billion. The market downturn drained liquidity from crypto assets, prompting Alameda’s lenders to demand loan repayments.

According to Ellison, Bankman-Fried instructed her to keep repaying creditors via Alameda’s line of credit with FTX. In other words, Alameda would use FTX’s customer assets to repay crypto lenders. At the time, its line of credit with the exchange stood at $13 billion.

As lenders demanded loan repayments and Alameda’s balance sheets, Bankman-Fried suggested Ellison use “alternative means” for presenting the company’s financials. In the following months, Ellison would create many additional versions of a balance sheet to deceive creditors.

Early in November 2022, an alternative version of Alameda’s balance sheet was leaked. Ellison was on vacation in Japan at the time, but she had to travel to FTX Hong Kong’s office to deal with the company’s crisis.

While the balance sheet data didn’t reflect the company’s reality, it was enough to spread rumors and trigger a bank run on FTX a few days later, exposing an $8 billion gap between the companies.

Having cooperated with the U.S. Department of Justice since December 2022, Ellison will soon receive her sentence regarding the seven counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud she was charged with.

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ProShares prepares to launch unique Short Ether Strategy ETF

ProShares’ SETH ETF will start trading soon, following the first Ethereum futures ETFs by about two weeks.
ProShares introduced a trio…



ProShares' SETH ETF will start trading soon, following the first Ethereum futures ETFs by about two weeks.

ProShares introduced a trio of Ethereum futures ETFs in the recent weeks. Presently, the company is gearing up to provide a distinctive offering.

ProShares' Short Ether Strategy ETF (SETH) from the fund group is poised to commence trading shortly, following the debut of the initial Ethereum futures ETFs by about two weeks.

SETH, scheduled for listing on the NYSE Arca exchange, aims to achieve daily investment outcomes that mirror the inverse of the daily S&P CME Ether Futures Index performance, as indicated in a filing made on Friday, Oct. 13.

The fund does not engage in direct shorting of ether (ETH); rather, it seeks to capitalize on potential declines in the asset's value, as stated in the prospectus. On Friday, the price of ETH stood at approximately $1,540, reflecting a decrease of approximately 6% over the past week.

Screenshot of the ProShares SETH filing     Source: SEC

ProShares anticipates that the registration statement for SETH will become effective on Oct. 15 and plans to introduce the fund in early November, as reported by Blockworks.

However, the three existing ProShares ether futures funds — including two that invest in both ether and bitcoin futures contracts — debuted on Oct. 2 alongside similar products by VanEck and Bitwise.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission approved ether futures ETFs two years following the introduction of the initial bitcoin futures ETF, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), which entered the market in Oct. 2021.

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ProShares continued its release of bitcoin futures ETFs with the Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITI) in June 2022. As of now, BITO has accumulated around $850 million in assets, while BITI has approximately $75 million.

In August, Cointelegraph reported that Ether futures ETFs may be approved in October, causing an 11% spike in ETH prices at the time.

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