I will freely admit I understand very little about crypto and I will even more freely admit that this makes even less sense to me:
In bankruptcy filings, crypto exchange FTX revealed a curious connection to stablecoin Tether through a small bank in rural Washington. Farmington State Bank is in fact the 26th smallest bank in the US, out of over 4,700. Until this year, it employed three people.
The bank was first formed in 1929 in a sleepy town named Farmington, hugging the Idaho border. It's home to just over 100 residents, and features zero restaurants, hotels, or pharmacies — it doesn't even appear to have an ATM.
The fact that Farmington State Bank somehow finds itself embroiled in the largest cryptocurrency fraud in history is puzzling, disconcerting, and totally out of place, to say the least.
Every enterprise journalist in the country heading toward Farmington right now like:
No no no wait though, it gets weirder:
In 2020, a company named FBH purchased Farmington State Bank. FBH's chairman is Jean Chalopin, who also chairs Deltec Bank and Trust — one of the main banks for both Alameda Research and Tether. Chalopin joined Farmington's board of directors.
Shortly after the purchase, the bank pivoted to deal with cryptocurrency and international payments. But due to Farmington State Bank's ‘backwards' traditions of not taking on risky loans or — and this is truly mind-boggling — even being a part of the Federal Reserve System, it couldn't move money anytime after the purchase.
This is when it sought Federal Reserve approval — and got it.
There's even more weird crypto drama swirling around all of this, but before you learn more about it, just a gentle reminder that it's all centered on one tiny bank in this town: