Kevin O’Leary Warns of More Crypto Exchange Collapses: “Many More Zeros” to Come

According to renowned investor Kevin O’Leary, the crypto market is still reeling from the collapse of numerous crypto firms in 2022, and unfortunately, there may be more turmoil on the horizon. O’Leary, known for his appearances on Shark Tank, recently shared his perspective on the latest downfall of the crypto exchange platform FTX, expressing his belief that more “meltdowns” like this are inevitable.

During an interview with Kitco anchor David Lin, O’Leary cautioned that unregulated crypto exchanges will continue to crumble, much like FTX did. He stressed that the recent collapse is just one instance among many “unregulated exchanges” that are likely to face a similar fate. O’Leary firmly stated,

“If you’re asking me if there’s going to be another meltdown to zero? Absolutely. 100% it’ll happen, and it’ll keep happening over, and over and over again.”

Furthermore, O’Leary issued a stern warning to cryptocurrency exchanges that choose not to prioritize transparency and auditing. He emphasized that institutional capital will not stay if exchanges refuse to undergo audits, maintain transparency, and disclose ownership details. O’Leary firmly stated,

“If you’re not willing to be audited, you don’t want to be transparent, you don’t want to disclose ownership, why should institutional capital stay? Of course, it’s not going to.”

The collapse of FTX, which sent shockwaves throughout the crypto community, heightened concerns about the need for increased transparency from crypto exchanges. In response, several centralized exchanges, including the world’s largest exchange, Binance, conducted proof-of-reserve audits within weeks, and others announced plans to follow suit.


However, a senior official from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cautioned that proof of reserves does not accurately reflect a company’s financial position. Investors were urged to exercise caution and skepticism regarding these companies’ claims.

While doubts persist about the financial standing of these companies, auditing firms, including Mazars, have appeared to change their stance. Mazars, which previously audited Binance, reportedly ceased conducting proof-of-reserve audits for cryptocurrency companies in December and removed its audit for Binance.

Similarly, other auditing firms, such as FTX’s auditor Armanino, have severed ties with cryptocurrency exchanges like OKX and O’Leary expressed his view on the matter, stating,

“Frankly, it’s very hard to find an auditor that wants to touch this stuff right now because of the unregulated cowboy environment. It’s all going to end, and yes, there’ll be many more zeros.”

It is worth noting that a December report by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) unveiled that over 70% of the volume on unregulated exchange platforms involves wash trading.

Despite the ongoing chaos, O’Leary continues to increase his crypto investments. It is essential to highlight that Kevin O’Leary had a significant stake in the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX and even became its public face. He had attempted to assist Sam Bankman-Fried in preventing the collapse of the exchange.