Crypto: Ex-FTX Platform Boss Apologizes, But Refutes Scam
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried gave his first interview since his company went bankrupt.
The former boss of cryptocurrency exchange FTX said he was “deeply sorry” on Wednesday after the company went bankrupt, but denied committing a scam .
Caught in a wave of panic that had prompted users to attempt to massively withdraw their funds from the platform, FTX first suspended withdrawals, before ;to be forced into bankruptcy on November 11.
I was managing director of FTX, which means that whatever happens, I had an obligation to preserve the interests of shareholders and customers, admitted the ex-leader, questioned as part of a New York Times conference.
I clearly made a lot of mistakes, things that I would give anything to be able to correct today, continued the thirty-something, dressed in his usual dark t-shirt.
Sam Bankman-Fried is suspected of having used, with collaborators, funds deposited on the platform by FTX clients to carry out speculative financial transactions with his other company, Alameda Research.
If proven, these facts could lead to criminal prosecution.
According to the Wall Street Journal, at the time of the bankruptcy filing, the sums taken, without express authorization, by Alameda and coming from FTX client accounts reached approximately 10 billion dollars.
Several American media reported that more than $1 billion of that total would be untraceable today.
I did not seek to commit any fraud against whoever it was, assured the entrepreneur with thick, curly hair, which contributed to his image as an iconoclastic genius.
I did not try to mix funds and use money belonging to clients to make, without their knowledge, risky investments, hammered Sam Bankman-Fried, in video duplex from the Bahamas, where FTX is headquartered and where he still resides.
During the interview, Sam Bankman-Fried appeared overwhelmed by events and seemed n& #x27;have only a very fragmented view of the underside of FTX's failure.
I didn't run Alameda, he said, even though he was the major shareholder. I did not know the size of their position, that is to say the sum borrowed from FTX, assured this graduate in physics from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Sam Bankman-Fried's successor, John Ray III, castigated the management of FTX in mid-November and described a company with centralized control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced individuals , unsophisticated and potentially corrupt.
This is an unprecedented case, added Mr. Ray, who has in the past presided over the putting in order of several large groups in bankruptcy, in particular the energy broker Enron, often considered as a reference in the matter.
Asked about a possible trial, Sam Bankman-Fried explained that he was not [concentrating] not on it, adding that his lawyers had advised him against speaking publicly.
He said he was more interested in trying to do everything [his] possible to help investors and customers of the platform.
By far the most prominent personality in the world of cryptocurrencies, Sam Bankman-Fried embodied for some the future of the sector, especially since he said he was in favor of more regulation .
A time credited with a fortune estimated at $26 billion, entirely based on the valuation of FTX and Alameda, the young man lost everything with the bankruptcy of his platform.
A lot of what we were doing was a distraction, which took us away from an incredibly important subject, on which we totally failed: risk, admitted Sam Bankman-Fried.
Risk management, risks related to client investments or conflicts of interest, detailed SBF.
FTX's setbacks brutally shook the ;world of cryptocurrencies and prompted several platforms to suspend customer withdrawals.
On Monday, it was the specialist in cryptocurrency loans BlockFi which announced its bankruptcy filing.< /p>
The sequence exposed, like the one that followed the implosion of the digital currency Terra in the spring, the interconnection of many e platforms, which lent to each other often without sufficient guarantees.