SRM Tokens Surge: FTX CEO Alters Employee Rules

Explore FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried's controversial move to extend the lock-up period for SRM tokens, impacting employees and the token's value.
SRM tokens

SRM tokens, a form of compensation for employees at FTX, became a topic of discussion after their value skyrocketed, as mentioned in Michael Lewis’ book “Going Infinite.” FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried decided to change the rules for his employees’ SRM tokens, concerned that their newfound wealth might affect their motivation to work long hours at the crypto exchange. This article will explore the impact of this decision and the current state of SRM tokens.

Changing the rules for SRM tokens

Crypto firms often compensate their employees with tokens released on a set schedule. However, Bankman-Fried extended the lock-up period for SRM tokens, meaning employees had to wait longer before they could sell them. This move aimed to ensure that employees were committed to the company’s long-term success and not just seeking quick profits.

The value of SRM tokens rose significantly during the 2020-2021 bull market, making many employees paper multi-millionaires. However, after FTX’s bankruptcy and a subsequent hack, the value of these tokens plummeted.

SRM tokens’ downfall

SRM tokens have experienced a dramatic fall from grace, now down 99.72% from their all-time high. They are currently traded on a few lesser-known exchanges, with Binance de-listing the majority of SRM’s trading pairs by the end of November. Once considered a rising star in the crypto world, SRM tokens have since fallen back to earth.

Impact on employee motivation

Bankman-Fried’s decision to extend the lock-up period for SRM tokens was intended to keep employees motivated and focused on the company’s long-term goals. By delaying their ability to cash in on their tokens’ value, employees were encouraged to continue working hard and contributing to the success of the crypto exchange.

However, the dramatic decline in SRM tokens’ value may have had unintended consequences for employee morale. With their once-valuable tokens now worth significantly less, employees may feel disheartened and question the fairness of the extended lock-up period.

Lessons learned from the SRM tokens saga

The story of SRM tokens offers valuable insights for both companies and employees in the crypto industry. For companies, it highlights the importance of carefully considering compensation structures and ensuring that employees remain motivated and committed to the organization’s success. Balancing short-term rewards with long-term incentives can be challenging, but it is crucial for maintaining a motivated workforce.

For employees, the SRM tokens experience serves as a reminder of the volatility and risk associated with crypto-based compensation. While the potential for significant gains can be enticing, employees must also be prepared for the possibility of dramatic losses. Diversifying one’s investment portfolio and not relying solely on company-issued tokens for financial security is a wise strategy.


In conclusion, the story of SRM tokens and FTX’s decision to extend the lock-up period for employees highlights the complexities of crypto-based compensation. While the initial intention was to keep employees motivated and focused on the company’s long-term success, the dramatic decline in SRM tokens’ value may have had the opposite effect. Companies and employees in the crypto industry can learn valuable lessons from this experience, emphasizing the importance of striking a balance between short-term rewards and long-term incentives.