Sam Bankman-Fried Speaks Out: Admits Mistakes as FTX's CEO

by Jared Kirui
  • SBF acknowledged the harm caused to investors when FTX collapsed.
  • He testified in his fraud trial, denying the charges brought against him.
Sam Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-Fried
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Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) faced the jury yesterday (Friday) and acknowledged the widespread fallout when the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which he co-founded, crumbled.

BBC reported that the 31-year-old entrepreneur, accused of deceiving investors and embezzling customer funds, opened up about his actions and decisions that led to this point. "A lot of people got hurt, customers, employees, and the company ended up in bankruptcy," he said.

In his testimony at the Manhattan federal court, SBF admitted to making a series of errors, both minor and significant, while managing the now-defunct exchange . He identified the absence of a dedicated risk management team as one of his most critical oversights.

Sam Bankman-Fried Maintains His Innocence

Despite the allegations against him, SBF maintained that he was innocent, asserting that he never defrauded anyone or misappropriated customer funds.

SBF began testifying on Thursday after the jury had been dismissed for the day. US District Judge Lewis Kaplan requested a preview of his testimony regarding the role of lawyers in key decisions to determine its admissibility as evidence.

SBF has consistently claimed that he acted based on legal advice, a stance contested by prosecutors who accuse him of misusing customers' funds for personal gain. Judge Kaplan ruled against allowing testimony about the lawyers' involvement in various loans made to SBF and other policies, deeming it potentially confusing.

SBF expressed uncertainty regarding the flow of funds from FTX's customers to Alameda Research and dismissed allegations of directing political donations. He admitted that he only became aware of the extent of Alameda's debt to FTX in October 2022.

Shifting Blame

According to a report by Coindesk, SBF deflected the blame in his fraud and conspiracy trial, highlighting mistakes rather than misconduct. He shifted responsibility onto his former colleagues, pointing out mismanagement of the cryptocurrency exchange rather than criminal intent.

One key issue discussed was a feature in FTX's software that allowed Alameda Research to have a negative balance. SBF argued that this feature was introduced to address a bug in the risk-management system rather than as a means to facilitate the withdrawal of unlimited funds from FTX's users, as the prosecutors allege.

Notably, SBF attributed the responsibility for implementing this feature to two of his former colleagues, Gary Wang and Nishad Singh, suggesting that he served as more of an adviser than a decision-maker.

Bankman-Fried also countered the prosecutors' claims that he and his colleagues habitually deleted communications to avoid legal trouble. He claimed that this practice was influenced by the "New York Times test," suggesting that written records could become public and misinterpreted.

Furthermore, SBF defended the massive borrowing by Alameda Research from FTX, asserting that Alameda had the same borrowing capabilities as any other entity. He also addressed FTX's "claw back" policy, which allowed the exchange to recover users' losses, arguing that it was clearly outlined in the terms of service.

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) faced the jury yesterday (Friday) and acknowledged the widespread fallout when the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which he co-founded, crumbled.

BBC reported that the 31-year-old entrepreneur, accused of deceiving investors and embezzling customer funds, opened up about his actions and decisions that led to this point. "A lot of people got hurt, customers, employees, and the company ended up in bankruptcy," he said.

In his testimony at the Manhattan federal court, SBF admitted to making a series of errors, both minor and significant, while managing the now-defunct exchange . He identified the absence of a dedicated risk management team as one of his most critical oversights.

Sam Bankman-Fried Maintains His Innocence

Despite the allegations against him, SBF maintained that he was innocent, asserting that he never defrauded anyone or misappropriated customer funds.

SBF began testifying on Thursday after the jury had been dismissed for the day. US District Judge Lewis Kaplan requested a preview of his testimony regarding the role of lawyers in key decisions to determine its admissibility as evidence.

SBF has consistently claimed that he acted based on legal advice, a stance contested by prosecutors who accuse him of misusing customers' funds for personal gain. Judge Kaplan ruled against allowing testimony about the lawyers' involvement in various loans made to SBF and other policies, deeming it potentially confusing.

SBF expressed uncertainty regarding the flow of funds from FTX's customers to Alameda Research and dismissed allegations of directing political donations. He admitted that he only became aware of the extent of Alameda's debt to FTX in October 2022.

Shifting Blame

According to a report by Coindesk, SBF deflected the blame in his fraud and conspiracy trial, highlighting mistakes rather than misconduct. He shifted responsibility onto his former colleagues, pointing out mismanagement of the cryptocurrency exchange rather than criminal intent.

One key issue discussed was a feature in FTX's software that allowed Alameda Research to have a negative balance. SBF argued that this feature was introduced to address a bug in the risk-management system rather than as a means to facilitate the withdrawal of unlimited funds from FTX's users, as the prosecutors allege.

Notably, SBF attributed the responsibility for implementing this feature to two of his former colleagues, Gary Wang and Nishad Singh, suggesting that he served as more of an adviser than a decision-maker.

Bankman-Fried also countered the prosecutors' claims that he and his colleagues habitually deleted communications to avoid legal trouble. He claimed that this practice was influenced by the "New York Times test," suggesting that written records could become public and misinterpreted.

Furthermore, SBF defended the massive borrowing by Alameda Research from FTX, asserting that Alameda had the same borrowing capabilities as any other entity. He also addressed FTX's "claw back" policy, which allowed the exchange to recover users' losses, arguing that it was clearly outlined in the terms of service.

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