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Founder of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX: "We failed completely"


For the first time since the spectacular collapse of his corporate empire, Sam Bankman-Fried has spoken out. The ex-boss of the crypto exchange FTX said he was ashamed – but had never tried to cheat anyone.

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Samuel Bankman-Fried, often just called SBF in the crypto industry (in Washington in February)


Saul Loeb/AFP

The founder of the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, has denied allegations of fraud.

"I have never tried to commit fraud on anyone," said the 30-year-old US entrepreneur on Wednesday (local time) at a New York Times conference in New York.

He was on from the Bahamas, where his trading platform for digital currencies like Bitcoin was headquartered.

Bankman-Fried said, "I saw it as a thriving business and was shocked by what happened this month."

In hindsight, he's ashamed.

"We failed completely," said Bankman-Fried, referring to the billion-dollar risks of his crypto company.

It was his first public appearance since the company collapsed in November.

"I've had a bad month."

FTX – one of the largest trading platforms for cryptocurrencies – collapsed within a few days after enormous outflows of funds around three weeks ago.

Billions in customer funds could not be paid out.

Bankman-Fried announced his resignation on November 11 and filed for bankruptcy for the group in the US state of Delaware.

The new FTX boss John Ray took over the leadership in the course of the bankruptcy proceedings.

He sharply criticized his predecessor: "Never in my career have I experienced such a complete failure of corporate control and such a lack of trustworthy financial information." What the ex-management team around Bankman-Fried organized was simply "unacceptable".

Investigations and class action lawsuits against Bankman-Fried are ongoing in the United States.

The 30-year-old has now asserted that FTX has enough money to pay out customers there.

"The US platform is completely solvent," he said on Wednesday.

When asked why he was still in the Bahamas and whether he still dared to go to the USA given the precarious legal situation, Bankman-Fried simply replied that he had already lived on the Caribbean island last year.

After the FTX collapse, there is not much left of his own fortune.

He only has one bank account with around $100,000 in it.

Before the bankruptcy, Forbes and Bloomberg valued his assets at times at over $26 billion.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-12-01

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