- Ben Derico and James Clayton
- BBC News, San Francisco
His company has suffered one of the biggest crashes in recent memory, but Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of cryptocurrency firm FTX, says he has not attempted fraud.
In his first public appearance since the FTX crash, the man once hailed himself as the “King of Cryptocurrency.” he told the newspaper New York times He had had a “bad month” and had almost no money left.
The company collapsed last month after i arrived With a value of 32.000 million US dollars.
Many investors have not been able to withdraw their money due to bankruptcy.
He didn’t even get his own money from FTX either, says Bankman-Fried, 30, and now has “almost nothing.”
He said he made this clear in an interview from the Bahamas, despite his lawyer’s advice You only have one credit card left With a debt of around $100,000 USD.
He emphasized that there was no intentional deception on the part of the investors and added: “I have never tried to commit fraud.”
However, when asked several times about the details of money movements between FTX and other entities, including the trading company he owns, Alameda Research, he seemed reluctant to give full details.
“The King” has fallen from grace
At the height of his fame, Bankman Fried was seen as young version From the legendary American investor Warren Buffett.
As of the end of October, his net worth was estimated at more than $15 billion.
However, he says, he underestimated the large amount needed to cover FTX clients’ withdrawals, causing panic among clients.
A lot of crypto companies, the companies that deal with cryptocurrencies, have struggled with the downturn of the economy in general and concerns about the viability of cryptocurrencies in general.
Bankman-Fried resigned as CEO of FTX on November 11.
According to court documents filed earlier this month, FTX is offline It owes its 50 largest creditors about $3.1 billion.
He admitted that his company had engaged in the so-called Green washThe strategy of some companies that engage in environmental projects to gain publicity.
Don’t be afraid to go to jail, for now
Bankman-Fried has also become known in Washington, D.C. as a political campaign donor and advocate for good cryptocurrency regulation, among other things.
But speaking with journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, the entrepreneur admitted that much of his business has been in the US capital PR “disguised as good intentions”.
Bankman-Fried said he is not concerned about potential criminal or civil liability at this time.
After hesitating his answer several times, he said, “There is a time and a place to think about myself and my future.” “I don’t think that is.”
When asked if he was sincere in what he said, Bankman-Fried said he was as sincere as he could be.
Although he offered no evidence to support this, the businessman said he believed FTX’s US arm was solvent and could, in fact, pay US investors.
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