In an interview, Sam Bankman-Fried He confessed that his ethics were “a facade” and that he “feels bad” for those who have been harmed. And then he blamed his ex-girlfriend for the FTX crisis.
The founder of FTX, whose collapse cost users billions of dollars, admitted that his efforts to appear moral during the company’s heyday were a “dumb game we played.”
He said the FTX disaster was blamed on Alameda Research, the company he founded in 2017 and which was run by his then-girlfriend, Caroline Ellison. Bankman-Fried, which owned a majority stake in Alameda, installed Ellison as chief executive in October 2021.
Ellison, the daughter of two economists and a math graduate from Stanford University, had just 18 months of business experience when she joined Alameda, before being named chief executive.
It is unknown how Ellison’s net worth was affected by the FTX collapse, but before the accident, it was estimated to be around $15 million. There is no documented connection between Ellison and the FTX downfall, and SBF did not elaborate on the matter beyond the allegation.
The FTX crisis was triggered when clients rushed to withdraw their funds, but the company was unable to pay due to a lack of liquidity as the exchange used user funds for other purposes.
SBF: cynicism and indifference
Before going down, Bankman-Fried cajoled regulators and politicians alike in an effort to convince them that cryptocurrencies are a worthy asset that should be embraced. But, during a interview with Voxsaid “fuck the regulators”, and accused them of “making everything worse”.
In the same interview, Sam Bankman-Fried admits that his ethical image was a ‘silly game’ and ‘front’, adding that he “said the right things to please everyone”.
Alameda owed FTX $10 billion, more than half of the exchange’s assets, after receiving the money from user funds, despite the action being strictly prohibited by FTX’s terms of service. SBF said it “thought Alameda had sufficient funds to reasonably cover the loan.” Was that the only reason to blame the ex?
Surprisingly, Bankman-Fried says his biggest mistake was filing for bankruptcy after FTX collapsed. Despite his pivotal role in the failure of the exchange, he claims that “everything would have been 70% fixed by now if I hadn’t filed for bankruptcy.”
Authorities in the Bahamas, where FTX was based and Bankman-Fried is currently in hiding, are discussing extraditing him to the United States for questioning.
The investigation went further than Bankman-Friend, as a 2021 Ellison Twitter post about amphetamine use was found and widely circulated:
“Nothing like regular amphetamine use to make you appreciate how stupid much of the human experience without drugs is.”
Ellison did not elaborate on which amphetamine drug she had taken, only that it helped motivate her to take basic everyday actions, such as choosing what to eat. Amphetamines, considered psychotropic drugs, may be prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
This is not the first time that amphetamines have been linked to FTX. A 2020 episode of the Listen Notes podcast recently resurfaced in which Bankman-Fried admits to experimenting with the drug.
“Overall, half of people or more should be taking some type of medication because it makes their lives so much better,” Bankman-Fried said of Adderall, a common prescription amphetamine. She compared the medicine to coffee, wrongly stating that they are no different.