Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli switched from pharma to crypto
By Kateryna Salnichenko 1884 1 Aug 2022
“King of evil”, “the most hated man in America”, and “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, who got banned from working in the pharmaceutical industry, is about to enter the crypto industry.
The high-profile entrepreneur, who has become the epitome of all the negative traits in society, has been released early from prison and plans to make a breakthrough in the creation of medicines.
Martin Shkreli is a highly controversial personality. An American entrepreneur, the head of a pharmaceutical company and co-founder of a hedge fund, became infamous for speculating on medicines and securities fraud.
Thus, as the head of a pharmaceutical company, Shkreli unreasonably raised prices for vital medicines to treat rare diseases, which, in particular, were necessary for elderly, HIV-infected patients, and pregnant women. Some of the most notable examples include acquiring the rights to Daraprim and raising the cost per pill from $17.5 to $750. At the same time, Pharma Bro caused an adverse reaction on social media, arguing that the cost of the drugs would likely continue to rise.
In addition to his activities in the pharmaceutical business, Shkreli co-founded a hedge fund. However, he concealed data from investors and orchestrated a Ponzi scheme, which led to securities fraud charges by the SEC. Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison and a $7.36 million fine. Moreover, the judge called Martin a “chaotic, dishonest and untrustworthy corporate leader” and said he would likely break the law again.
Should we be wary of the emergence of Crypto Bro?
According to Shkreli, he read hundreds of books while serving prison time and even got himself a banned cell phone with Internet access. While most inmates used smuggled communication to visit YouTube and porn sites, the scandalous intellectual perfected his knowledge of higher mathematics and cryptography.
What’s more, not only did Martin pursue self-education, but he also founded a Web3 fan group called Crypto Thugz. Describing his attitude toward cryptocurrencies, Shkreli says, “Bitcoin is great. I feel like you go deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. Very few people understand Bitcoin though. I’d almost say unless you can code your own Bitcoin client, you don’t understand Bitcoin”.
The offender, who has been released from a maximum-security prison on parole for good behavior, is planning an upcoming project that allows everyone to design and model chemical compounds for the better development of new medicines.
Talking about the Druglike program, Shkreli notes: “It’s a piece of software that lets anyone design a drug on their computer. Whether you’re at a company, or a college student, or just a kid who wants to try it at home. The goal is to make it so eventually, drugs are cheaper to buy for everyone + every rare disease can be treated”.
The former Pharma Bro emphasizes that such a project cannot be classified as mass-market. But it has the potential to become popular with the average user if it helps scientists find new chemical formulas to treat different diseases.
“Some scientist is working on a cancer drug. And instead of donating money, you could just donate ‘free compute’ to them. It’s a cool way to contribute to the project”.
According to Shkreli, at 12, he would have called such a project “the coolest thing ever”. There is no doubt that the initiative looks decent at first glance. But will such a controversial character be able to overcome his dark side without turning from Pharma Bro to Crypto Bro? Time will tell.