Ex-FTX Boss Denies Intent to Commit Fraud

    Photo: nytimes

    The Facts

    • Speaking remotely to the New York Times DealBook Summit on Wednesday, Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and former CEO of bankrupted cryptocurrency exchange FTX, admitted he "screwed up,” however, he maintained that he never attempted to commit fraud.

    • Earlier this month, he resigned as CEO of FTX after the company declared bankruptcy due to a liquidity crisis and accusations of misappropriated customer funds. The firm currently owes its debtors $8B.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Bankman-Fried may be telling the truth about his intentions even though he’s at the heart of the FTX collapse. FTX was unorganized and largely mismanaged, and he failed at his job. But that doesn’t mean Bankman-Fried did anything illegal. This was a complex and unacceptable crypto meltdown, but there may not be malfeasance involved.

    Narrative B

    Bankman-Fried was hailed as a genius and the face of crypto’s future, but now we’re supposed to believe he didn’t know what he was doing. This wasn’t an honest mistake like bumping into someone on the street, it was a 30-year-old man misallocating funds from one company to prop up another he had a hand in, namely the Alameda Research hedge fund. The FTX collapse wasn’t the result of a series of mistakes — it was a fraud.

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