This is the bankruptcy of the decade: FTX, the second largest crypto-asset trading platform, valued at $32 billion (€31 billion) in early November, has sunk. The company is no longer worth anything, and more than 100,000 creditors have been barred from lengthy legal proceedings in hopes of seeing their $10 billion to $50 billion worth of assets. “I’m sorry, I screwed up,” said Samuel Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX and the protagonist of this dizzying fall, simply.
The son of two law professors from Stanford University in California, Sam Bankman-Fried (known as “SBF”) studied at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before becoming a Wall Street trader. This is where he understands the mechanics of trading assets between the United States and Asia—buying where it’s cheap, reselling where it’s more expensive, and pocketing the difference. In 2017, his brokerage Alameda Research applied the recipe to bitcoin, a virtual currency very popular in Japan. Profit: $20 million in three weeks. Entrepreneur settles in Khon
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