Everything SBF Didn’t Tell The New York Times
Much has been said during Sam Bankman-Fried’s recent interviews, but critical questions have been left unasked and unanswered
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried | Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel
In a string of virtual media appearances this week from an undisclosed location, Sam Bankman-Fried appeared genuinely incredulous at the very idea that he willingly committed fraud and may face legal consequences.
Bankman-Fried, the founder of now-bankrupt FTX, spent over an hour during a virtual appearance at The New York Times DealBook Summit on Wednesday putting on the same display he has long used to charm the world: self-deprecating humor and his embellished, nerdy mannerisms.
The 30-year-old former billionaire, who appeared on screen in his signature black T-shirt, said he did not have his first sip of alcohol until after his 21st birthday. The packed live audience in New York laughed.
He also didn’t intend to do anything wrong, Bankman-Fried said, although he stopped short of outright denying that fraud occurred on his watch.
“I didn’t knowingly commingle funds,” Bankman-Fried said. “I wasn’t trying to commingle funds,” he added moments later.
The publicity circus continued Thursday, when Bankman-Fried took his well-worn act to the morning news circuit for a 16-minute chat with Good Morning America.
“It was delusional,” Galaxy Digital’s Mike Novogratz said of Bankman-Fried’s interview Thursday on CNBC. “Let’s be really clear: Sam was delusional about what happened and his culpability in it. He needs to be prosecuted. He will spend time in jail. And it wasn’t just Sam. You don’t pull this off with one person.”
Blockworks compiled a list of questions Bankman-Fried has yet to answer, for the New York Times or otherwise. Many have not been asked:
Where did the money come from for your bid to acquire BlockFi? Did you pledge Robinhood equity and if so, where did the funds to acquire Robinhood shares come from?
Why did you move BlockFi customers’ assets on to FTX?
Was the $1 billion personal loan to you from Alameda funded with FTX deposits?
Do you have a stake in Twitter? Was it bought with customer funds?
How much did Alameda lose between December 2021 and June 2022? And how?
SRM was the largest position on the FTX balance sheet, valued at $2.2 billion. How did FTX get those tokens? And why were they valued like that, given Serum’s market cap is now less than $88 million?
Did you allow Alameda to collateralize a major fraction of the entire FTX margin system with FTT and SRM?
Who authorized the SRM mints on Feb 19 (50M SRM) and May 25 (50M SRM), which increased Serum’s total supply by 60%?
Was FTX the “owner” of the SRM ERC-20 contract, which has the authority to mint new SRM tokens? If not, who is?
Did FTX keep “locked SRM” awarded to market makers for staking FTT on its balance sheet as an asset?
Why did you use wire transfers sent to Alameda to onboard funds into FTX accounts until at least 2022?
Did any funds pledged to altruistic campaigns or political donations come from FTX customer deposits?
You told Vox that talking about ethics is “what reputations are made of” and that you “feel bad for those who get f—ed by it — by this dumb game we woke westerners play where we say all the right shibboleths and so everyone likes us.”
Given that, why should we believe anything you say?
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