Sam Bankman-Fried, the star of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, still maintains his innocence. The man, who chose not to plead guilty to the eight charges against him, and despite the admission of guilt by his former associates, published a blog post on January 12 to present his version of the facts to the public. In which he claims he “didn’t steal funds and certainly didn’t stash billions.”
“The funds were not stolen”
SBF is convinced – or so it says – that if FTX had not been forced into liquidation, his company would have been able to recover the amounts owed to all of its customers and creditors. “I still believe that if FTX restarts today, our customers can be financially compensated,” he wrote.
He explains that the collapse of his trading company Alameda Research was caused by the collapse of the cryptocurrency market, not a scam. “The funds were not stolen. Alameda lost money in a market crash they weren’t properly insured against – like the Three Arrows and others this year. And FTX has suffered the consequences, just like Voyager and others have done before.” “FTX International and Alameda were two legitimate, independent and profitable companies in 2021 that brought in billions,” he adds.
He also accuses Binance boss Changpeng Zhao of deliberately orchestrating a campaign to destabilize FTX.
$5 billion in recovered assets
Under house arrest with his parents in California, SBF is now awaiting his trial, due to begin October 2, 2023. In total, he faces 115 years in prison.
The liquidators of the company have returned $5 billion in cash and cryptocurrency assets, which will be used to pay off debt to creditors, including 9 million customers whose assets were frozen. SBF is extremely optimistic about the prospects that clients will recover all their assets. He adds to this by stating that he has “dedicated almost all of his personal assets to FTX clients.”
But even at this level, things get complicated. For example, his $465 million stake in the brokerage Robinhood, which he wanted to provide to his clients, was seized by the courts because this investment was made thanks to a loan provided by Alameda … In addition, the lawyers of the former FTX boss are trying to use these funds to finance their protection.
Meanwhile, the wave of FTX bankruptcy continues to spread. This week, the Financial Times learned that cryptocurrency lending platform Genesis, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group that lent funds to FTX and Alameda and is now on the brink of bankruptcy, owes more than $3 billion to its creditors.
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