Future Perfect senior writer, Kelsey Piper, has just revealed a Twitter chat that she had with CEO of collapsing crypto exchange, FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, concerning the recent dismal events and crisis surrounding his now bankrupt crypto exchange, in an article. In the article, which was published on Vox News, Kelsey stated that quite to her surprise, SBF responded to her comment request she sent on November 13 which ensued in the conversation.
This singular act was contrary to the cmo behavior of people like Sam Bankman-Fried, who are under investigations or probation by Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice, as they normally don’t grant comment requests or interviews. According to Kelsey, it seemed that Bankman-Fried wanted to have the conversation. He wanted to let people know and understand how the whole situation transpired and moved him from one of the biggest names in the cryptocurrency industry to a man now known for failing the financial trust and confidence of many.
During the chat, he was particular about some players in the whole saga, so here’s what we’ve learned.
SBF’s Thoughts on the Role of Regulators in the Crypto Industry
Before the financial crisis FTX has stumbled into, Bankman-Fried was always known for his support of some form of regulations in the crypto industry. Unlike his counterpart at Binance, Changpeng Zhao, and many other big players in the industry, Sam Bankman-Fried actually portrayed the character that believed regulations were necessary so that the big players of the crypto industry would be guided.
But the chat proved otherwise. According to SBF, the regulatory bodies were not doing anything tangible to “make sure that good things are happening, and bad things don’t”. He further solidified the view that his actions to ‘push for regulations’ were just a rouse and a coverup for his image and PR, while also stating that crypto regulators were not ” protecting customers”.
SBF on His Ends Justifies the Means — Using Unethical Measures to Get To “Good” Goals
So many people believe that Sam Bankman-Fried was the type of person who cared about the greater good, notwithstanding the means by which that good was realised. But in an earlier interview with Kelsey in the summer, SBF had noted that it was not acceptable to do good via underhanded means.
Contrary to all that talk, he came clean in this recent chat stating that all those words from the interview were also a rousing pep talk to improve his reputation. He went on to say that the in the industry and business in general, there were winners and losers. And only the winners are regarded, whether the win was through unethical means or not.
He further buttressed that being ethical while losing wasn’t all that terrible like being unethical and losing. But when you emerge victorious even with underhanded methods, you’re seen as a hero. He also noted that “the greatest heroes of the world in the past decade are not known or acknowledge, but the people loved and lauded as heroes are shams who are celebrated because they won, not minding how they won”.
SBF’s Take on How the Balance Sheets Turned Against Him, and the Hack
This was a point that Kelsey Piper pressed upon SBF to get the truth out from him, but his response remained that Alameda Research had borrowed a lot from FTX for investments without him realizing and in the end, the accounts couldn’t be balanced. This is against the popular belief that FTX directly invested those funds from users directly into the exchange.
He made it clear that FTX didn’t gamble the money, but rather lent Alameda, who then gambled and lost, without sufficient collateral to repay the loans. In the end, while the intention wasn’t to misuse user funds, it happened and he realized late, probably due to the fact that billion of dollar were mis accounted for. When asked about the hack though, SBF simply stated that it was either the handiwork of a former employee or a malware planted on the computer of a former employee. He also confirmed that millions of dollars were stolen.
SBF on His Regrets From the Whole Saga and the Next Plans
Talking about regrets, SBF stated that he messed things up but his greatest regret is declaring bankruptcy. His declaration of bankruptcy led to his replacement with John Ray III as CEO, which removed the matter from his control. He believed that he could have recouped the losses of the exchange and while that would seem unlikely with no forthcoming investors and the stringent rules and regulations to follow, it meant that ” global withdrawals would be open within a month”.
He now stated his next plans which was to find a way to raise $8 billion within two weeks — a feat that might be too big for even Sam Bankman-Fried considering the lack of interested investors and the regulations involving the bankruptcy court and others.