Cryptogpt News, December 1: Should SBF put the microphone down?

He continues to tweet and give interviews that are very honest but still misleading in a way that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Molly Jane Zuckerman writes…

Cryptocurrency is a small industry.

It’s not as small as it used to be: I’ve heard stories about Coinbase users having withdrawal problems and DMing Brian Armstrong to accidentally solve it for them.

But crypto is still small enough, and niche enough, that if you’ve been around for a certain amount of time, you’ll find that getting in touch with crypto “celebrities” is easier than in other industries.

Sure, you can’t DM Brian anymore if you’re locked out of your Coinbase account, but you can have 100 followers, tweet hotly about cryptohacks, and Vitalik and Jesse Powell can discuss in the comments.

While it’s great that the line between big inventors, creators, and crypto enthusiasts is blurred, it can lead to situations where crypto celebrities take on this cool, reserved way of communicating and use it as such. Apply in situations that feel incredibly deaf.

Even beyond Sam Banksman Freud (whom I’m citing here as the obvious prime example), you now have several ex-heads of now-defunct crypto companies who are capable, marginally so. More honest but still misleading tweets and interviews. taste in your mouth.

I’m not saying that a wall of silence should be erected between the world and scandalous crypto-creators, but perhaps it’s time for this current category of people to be a little more thoughtful about how they communicate. .

Trolling crypto on Twitter is one thing, trolling the New York Times event and Good Morning America is another. All signs point to this particular Mike giving up and walking away.

12 key quotes from Sam Banksman Freud’s interview with The New York Times 👀

FTX co-founder and crypto’s favorite hero-turned-villain Sam Bankmanfried rambled to justify himself for just over an hour at the New York Times Deal Book Summit, explaining in eye-watering detail how His trading firm was given a $10 billion loan. The people’s money that was entrusted to him was really a careless mistake by someone who really cared a lot.

The crypto exchange empire saw him testify before Congress, slap his logo on the stadium and be hailed as the JPMorgan of crypto for bailing out other companies six months ago — when trading firm Alameda Research actually was being crushed — lying in ruins in bankruptcy court.

Meanwhile, there are many unanswered questions ranging from “Are you really as incompetent as you say you are” to “Are you a criminal and a thief” that plague regulators, politicians, criminal investigators as well as nearly a Millions of users are looking at Free Crypto. Wallets, want the answer – or believe they already know the answer.

With that in mind, here are SBF’s best responses to Andrew Ross Sorkin’s November 30 interview:

On his merits

“I had a duty to all my stakeholders, my customers, my creditors. I had a duty to my employees, my investors and the world’s regulators, to do right by them, to make sure that the right company Things happened, and obviously I didn’t do a good job of it.”

On whether he is a bully or not.

“I have never tried to scam anyone. I was excited about the prospects of FTX a month ago. I saw it as a thriving growing business. With what happened this month, I I was surprised.”

On how he lost the $10 billion issue.

“In terms of the accounting error, given what happened, I think what the financials were — the audited financials, what the actual financials were, what the [FTX] exchange was supposed to be, it was all the same. — Vs. The dashboards that we displayed there for Alameda’s account, that show the position size to be quite low. And that’s one of the reasons why I was surprised when we looked at everything. That’s how big the position has become.”

On the relationship between Alameda and FTX

“I wasn’t driving the Alameda, I didn’t know exactly what was going on. I didn’t have an idea of ​​their position… and obviously that’s a huge mistake, a huge oversight. I think I was nervous about getting too involved, because of the conflict of interest.

on whether it commingled FTX customer funds with Alameda’s funds;

“Part of it is that you have margin trading — you know, customers borrowing from each other, Alameda being one of them. I was obviously surprised at how big Alameda’s position was, which I It points to another failure of oversight on the part. The failure to put someone primarily in charge of it. But I wasn’t trying to commingle the funds.”

on the solvency of FTX US

“A U.S.-regulated platform with U.S. customers, to my knowledge that’s fully solvent, fully funded. And, you know, I believe the withdrawals can be opened today, and Each can be completed – that none of these problems plagues it. American platform.”

On the rest of his personal wealth

“No, I don’t have any hidden funds. What I have, I’m disclosing. I have one working credit card left [and] I think I have $100,000 or something like that in a bank account. . Everything I had, even all the loans I had, I was reinvesting in the business – I put everything I had into FTX.”

On tweets describing drug-fueled nights

“When we had parties, we’d play board games and 20% of the people would each have three quarts of beer or something like that. And the rest of us wouldn’t drink anything. Didn’t see legal drug use. You know, in the office at these parties.”

on his own drug use

“I can say for myself, I’ve been prescribed different things at different times to help with focus and concentration. They’re all just completely off-label uses of drugs. I think those are the things that, marginally, But, helped me. I wish I had focused more in the last year.

Allegedly using company funds to buy a house in the Bahamas for his parents

“I don’t know the details of my parents’ house, but I knew it wasn’t going to be their long-term property, it was always going to be company property, I think they would have stayed there during work. Last year. with the company during.”

On why FTX was buying so much property in the Bahamas, where it was headquartered.

“There’s been a lot of real estate buying in the Bahamas. That’s because we’ve had 100 top employees, basically from Silicon Valley, come here to work for FTX. And we’re going to make sure that were trying to encourage that they had an easy way out. To find a comfortable life, that they would be willing to relocate and help build the product.”

On this possibility he will go to jail.

“I have a time and a place to think about myself and my future. I don’t think this is it.”

Sam Bankman Freud Says FTX’s Net Worth Is ‘Close To Zero’ After Collapse

In an interview, the former CEO of FTX, the first No. 2 crypto exchange in the world, said he did not commit fraud and believes he can still fix his bankrupt business.

Sam Bankman Fried doesn’t want to think about going to jail.

Asked about the prospect during an interview at the New York Times Dealbook Summit conference on Nov. 30, the CEO of the bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange was visibly nervous. Here’s what he ended up saying:

“I have a time and a place to think about myself and my future. I don’t think this is it.”

There are many other people.

At the beginning of November FTX was the second largest crypto exchange in the world, with an estimated value of $32 billion. Now, nearly one million customers worldwide look set to lose their life savings, leaving an $8 billion hole in its books.

The hole was allegedly caused by Alameda borrowing $10 billion.

And as interviewer Andrew Ross Sorkin said, “The generous view is that you’re a young man who made a series of terrible, terrible, very bad decisions.”

Basically the story he’s telling is: Sam Bankman Freud is so far in over his head as a genius kid that he doesn’t even realize that the company has the risk management and leverage between FTX and FTX US. Should have been an executive watching. Exchanges and trading firm Alameda Research – whose extremely bad bets brought the company down.

The second, Sorkin said, “is that you have committed massive fraud, that this is a Ponzi scheme, a manipulation of the system.”

To which Bankman-Fried replied: “I have never tried to defraud anyone.”

He later said, “I don’t have any hidden funds” and that he wasn’t lying.

Bankman-Fried also claimed to be the kind of brac that rich people consider brac, saying that she has a net worth of “close to zero” and that she has a bank account with “$100,000 in it.” Or something like that.”

Distorting reality

Asked what his future held, Bankman-Freud repeated the phrase “I don’t know” five times during a rambling response that was far less than he believed it to be – or so he claims. That he can still find out somehow. Raise new investors, billions of dollars, and improve everything.

What emerged looked and sounded like a man known as an eccentric revolutionary businessman trying to engage in Steve Jobs’ famous field of reality distortion, and failing miserably. had lived.

It was an interesting combination of magical realism and a somewhat absurd attempt to offload the blame to “Scrips” that FTX customers were going to end up with a team of restructuring experts currently 130 -Running the strange company FTX Group — whose lawyer. Only Bankmann accused Freud of running the companies as his “personal fiefdom”. He said:

“I would have thought that, you know, there would be an opportunity for a way forward that would bring more value to customers, then what if you sell everything else for scrap, and I’m not sure… I can’t promise anything to anyone, and it’s really out of my hands.”

Translation: I can fix everything.

He added:

“I would think it would make sense to explore that because I think there’s a chance that consumers could be a lot more complete — I don’t know, maybe even completely — if there was a really strong concerted effort.”

Translation: When something goes wrong, it’s their fault, not mine.

It’s impressive how often he says things along the lines of “I screwed it up” and “I’m guilty” when explaining how he missed out on his own trading firm. Alameda was allegedly siphoning off billions of rupees. Dollars out of FTX.

This is despite the terms of service which clearly read, as Sorkin points out: “None of the digital assets in your account are owned by FTX Trading and may not be loaned to it. FX Trading “Does not represent or treat digital assets and customer accounts. As related to FTX trading.”

Which led Sorkin to ask: “So how is it possible that Alameda has such a large debt?”

Kraken cuts 30% of workforce in latest crypto layoffs

Jesse Powell blamed the crypto winter for a huge drop in trading volume that was too deep to sustain, but also hinted that the impact of FTX’s collapse on the industry’s reputation was a factor.

A US cryptocurrency exchange has become the latest to announce a massive round of layoffs as the crypto industry’s year-long bear market deepens.

The San Francisco-based exchange said it is cutting 1,100 staff members, returning to where it was 12 months ago as it “takes steps for crypto winter,” co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell said. announced on November 30.

Powell, who announced in September that he plans to step down as CEO soon, spoke in his blog post about broader economic conditions that resulted in “significant declines in trading volume.” and client sign-ups dropped”, but they seem to refer to falling into bankruptcy. This month of competitor FTX as the last straw.

“Tough day at @krakenfx,” he tweeted. “The macro was already tight and we weathered it but recent industry woes dampen near-term optimism about a crypto rebound.”

Although he did not specify what those “difficulties” were, it is alleged that the CEO of the second-largest global exchange FTX, Sam Bankmanfried, used 10 of the clients’ accounts to advance his trading firm Alameda Research. Used billions of dollars in funds. — leaving behind what is said to be an $8 billion hole — has shattered the industry’s trust and reputation and prompted worldwide civil and criminal investigations as well as calls for tougher regulation.

In the official statement, Powell said that since the start of the year, “macroeconomic and geopolitical factors have weighed on financial markets” causing crypto trading to fall. He added:

“We responded by slowing hiring efforts and avoiding large marketing commitments. Unfortunately, the negative impact on financial markets continued and we eliminated preferred options to bring prices in line with demand. given.”

Not the last.

In the past few months alone, nearly a dozen crypto companies have announced major layoffs, with shedding 2,000, bitcoin financial services firm Unchained Capital shedding nearly 650, crypto finance firm Galaxy Digital shedding nearly 170. , NFT studio Deeper Labs’ cutting more than 130 and crypto exchange BitMEX more than 50.

With its stock price down, Coinbase was the first with a huge layoff, shedding 1,100 on June 14. The next day, Powell announced that Kraken was still looking to hire 500 employees.

This time, Powell said Kraken — one of the first exchanges, founded in 2011 — has:

“We have successfully navigated many market cycles and our strategy has always included thoughtful cost management and spending. These changes will allow us to sustain the business for the long term while remaining global in select sectors. We will continue to build quality products and services that add the most value to our customers.”

Earlier this week, Kraken announced that it had settled its Iran sanctions violations with a very small fine from the Treasury Department, amounting to a token settlement because Kraken itself discovered and reported this issue, and because it was a technical flaw that was exploited. Rather than a willful or actually negligent violation.

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