Founder of bankrupt crypto firm FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, breaks his silence after thousands of savings are locked out | business news
A crypto entrepreneur says his net worth fell from $26.5 billion to $100,000 after his company imploded.
Sam Bankman-Fried admitted it was a “bad month” after FTX went bankrupt and thousands of people lost their life savings.
The 30-year-old, who once positioned himself as a savior for struggling companies, is accused of misusing customer funds and secretly siphoning $10 billion from the company.
To make matters worse, reports suggest at least $1 billion has disappeared.
But speaking at the New York Times’ DealBook summit, he insisted he had never attempted to commit fraud and said he was “shocked” at how things were turning out.
FTX now has fresh management as it navigates bankruptcy, with its new CEO stating that he has never seen “such a complete failure of corporate controls” in his 40-year career.
It has been alleged that funds from FTX users were mixed with funds from Alameda Research, a trading firm that Bankman-Fried also ran.
FTX, a global cryptocurrency exchange, collapsed when panicked traders siphoned $6 billion from the company in just three days following a spate of bombshell allegations.
Via video link from the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried said he now has “almost nothing” after his business failed — and only one working credit card.
He has admitted his companies have “completely failed” at risk management and said it was “quite embarrassing in hindsight”.
“Whatever happened, why it happened, I had a duty to our stakeholders, our customers, our investors, the regulators of the world, to do what was right for them,” Bankman Fried added.
While the embattled entrepreneur believes American users should get their money back in full, Bankman-Fried has warned in other interviews that international clients may only get 20% to 25% of the money they had locked up on FTX.
A number of companies in the cryptocurrency sector have collapsed in recent months, coinciding with Bitcoin’s sharp fall in value.
Some companies have been accused of offering interest rates on savings that were simply too good to be true, while others have been likened to “Ponzi schemes”.
The Bahamas has now opened a criminal investigation into the circumstances of FTX’s sinking.