Welcome to the 121st episode of the FTX Podcast with special guest Sam Trabucco and your host Tristan Yver!

This is a great episode for aspiring traders to get an inside look at Trabucco’s personal approach to the markets & finding work-life balance. He recently stepped down from his position of co-CEO at Alameda after a very intense & rewarding amount of time. In this episode he shares great insight on arbitrage opportunities, market events over the last several years & the inner-workings of Alameda.

Thanks for coming on the show Trabucco! Your time, energy & insight is appreciated!

Time Stamps of key moments:

0:00 : Experience at Susquehanna: learning the fundamentals & how to think quantitatively.

1:46 : Gaining crypto trading experience at large firms; a good educational experience.

2:40 : Stepping down as co-CEO of Alameda; finding work-life balance after burn out.

4:35 : Alameda’s Japan arbitrage capital gain.

5:10 : Seizing arb opportunities & fulfilling 24/7 market making obligations.

7:53 : ‘The Wild West’ window of opportunity: leveraging capital to take advantage of cross-market inefficiencies.

9:48 : Dealing with subpar API Connectivity & exchange outages caused by big market moves.

10:45 : Utilizing automated models, formulas & sentiment to calculate market moves.

13:36 : BCH fork of 2018-19 aftermath: eyes on block production to see which chain miners would support & early expired futures on the OKX exchange.

16:56 : Upcoming ETH POS vs ETH POW fork; a look at valuation (fundamentals vs priors).

17:45 : Decision criteria for trading: knowing who to trust is key.

20:50 : BTC’s drop to 3K made it hard to hire: time to focus on models & improve systems.

22:01 : Monetary motivation: arbitrage is still lucrative in a bear market.

23:29 : March 2020 set the stage for the best trading opportunities among a lot of scary moments.

25:36 : Dealing with severe congestion: extremely hard to collateralize accounts & buy.

26:44 : The ‘overnight popularity’ of yield farming: Alameda’s fairly easy transition by utilizing available assets.

28:32 : Bright side of crash: crypto seen as beta to trad-fi stock market & big institutions gain interest.

30:42 : Reading big funds correlative trading patterns between trad-fi & crypto.

31:11 : Paul Tudor Jones goes public about owning bitcoin: helps institutional adoption.

31:50 : Alameda’s reaction to big trading firms entering the market: they move slow.

32:49 : Having rapport with crypto native projects.

33:03 : Framework approach: risk vs reward.

35:07 : Breaking out of an agnostic outlook towards crypto: the catalysts.

37:02 : Alameda’s reaction to the black swan type event of March 2020.

38:14 : Timing the low price point & strategizing execution.

39:54 : Idea share is encouraged internally & the best is used for directional plays.

40:50 : Tackling the hiring hurdles & implications of being Hong Kong based during quarantine.

42:15 : The upside of quarantine for FTX’s development.

42:55 : Trading DOGE in 2021: utilizing Elon’s price impact & reading SNL’s sentiment.

47:48 : Knowing when to take the opposite side: reading liquidations for down signals.

50:11 : Trading a hard crash (64 to 27K) with market structure based analysis & the importance of accessible capital.

54:16 : The base rule is survival: never put money at risk that will allow you to exist.

56:05 : Keys to crypto market getting legs of it’s own.

58:08 : Advice to those coming into the crypto space: be willing to believe things may be as they seem.

1:00:18 : Balancing the scales: pursuing personal enjoyment.

Thanks for joining us!

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