Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary Sounds Alarm Over US Crypto Exodus

Kevin O’Leary is worried the current US regulatory climate could potentially trigger a ‘crypto brain drain.’

Kevin O'Leary portrait with FTX SBF in the background.
  • Canadian Businessman Kevin O’Leary is worried that the US crackdown on crypto is driving innovation away. 
  • O’Leary added that major players are looking to build in other countries that employ a much friendlier stance.
  • The Shark Tank host urged American lawmakers and regulators to take heed of the current regulatory climate hurting the sector. 

Since the FTX fiasco, US regulators have shifted towards a stricter approach in regulating the crypto sector, prompting a mass exodus of crypto entrepreneurs and platforms seeking more favorable jurisdictions. 

Former Shark Tank star and entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary expressed concerns about the US stance on crypto, fearing the current regulatory climate could potentially trigger a ‘crypto brain drain’ as innovators seek refuge elsewhere. 

Kevin O’Leary Worried About US Crypto Scene

In an interview with Fox Business, Kevin O’Leary shared insights into the current regulatory environment for crypto. The entrepreneur expressed concerns that the prevailing climate in the US is hurting a burgeoning sector of the American economy and offshoring innovation. 


O’Leary emphasized that rather than building in the US, major players are looking to build in other countries that employ a much more friendlier stance. As a notable example, the Shark Tank host mentioned Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is actively working on developing a crypto exchange called M2, suggesting that it could soon replace both FTX and Binance

During the interview, O’Leary disclosed that the upcoming exchange is poised to be fully compliant, financially robust, and committed to transparency. He added: 

“This hasn’t been announced yet but in Abu Dhabi, they are planning to launch a new exchange to replace both FTX and Binance, and they’re going to get billions of dollars on it called M2. It is going to be totally compliant, backed by billions of dollars, incredibly stable, ownership transparency and it can be used by anybody in the world legitimately on a compliant basis.” 

O’Leary underlined that M2 could become a new standard for exchange. He urged American lawmakers and regulators to take heed of the emergence of Abu Dhabi as a solid competitor in the crypto space. 

On the Flipside

  • Despite losing all his assets in the FTX exchange, Kevin O’Leary said that Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) may still be worth investing in.
  • SEC Chairman Gary Gensler recently drew scrutiny from US lawmakers for hurting the crypto sector with his crackdown. 
  • Binance recently received a Financial Services Permission (FSP), which would allow the exchange to act as a digital asset custodian to institutional clients in Abu Dhabi.

Why This Matters

Kevin O’Leary is a seasoned investor, regularly sharing insights on how institutions and accredited investors see crypto. The entrepreneur raises valid points about US crypto regulation hindering innovation and platforms from establishing themselves in the country due to the hostile climate. 


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This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Insha Zia

Insha Zia is a senior journalist at DailyCoin covering crypto developments, especially in the Cardano ecosystem. With a Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Engineering, he delivers high-quality articles with his technical background and expertise in data analysis and programming languages, aiming to educate and inform readers accurately, transparently, and engagingly. Insha believes education can drive mass adoption of the crypto space, and he is committed to giving DailyCoin readers a better understanding of the technology.