The chilling videos of the disgraced crypto king

The chilling videos of the disgraced crypto king

Disgraced crypto exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried was hailed as “the most generous billionaire” in a criminally resurfaced video earlier this year.

As the fallout from the collapse of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s companies FTX and Alameda Research continues to ripple through the cryptocurrency market, other major exchanges are scrambling to reassure customers that their funds are safe.

Among them is Binance, the largest crypto exchange — whose founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao also appeared in an eerily similar whiff by NasDaily YouTuber Nuseir Yassin.

“The guy you see next to me is the most generous billionaire in the world,” says an excited Yassin in the January 2022 video with the FTX founder.

“Sam has crazy hair! Sam is vegan! Sam sleeps five hours a night! Sam lives in the Bahamas with 10 roommates. Sam is only 29 years old! But Sam has $22 billion. And he wants to donate everything to charity. But why?”

Yassin then claims that the crypto founder “is not a traditional billionaire because he believes in the concept of ‘earning to give’, meaning that his goal as a human being is to make as much money as possible just for the sake of it To give away”.

Mr Bankman-Fried explains in the video: “So let’s say you have $100 and you want to find out what you can do with it to help the world.

“Earning giving means thinking about which causes, which charities are saving the most lives per dollar. The amount of good you can do for the future of the world is really huge, and it’s far more than you can do to actually make yourself happy with that much money.”

In May, Mr. Zhao was featured in an equally enthusiastic NasDaily video branding him the “most humble crypto billionaire.”

“It’s not about making money!” Yassin says of Binance.

“Actually, CZ doesn’t care about money. Check out his clothes! He has no fancy clothes or cars and plans to donate his fortune to charity.”

Mr. Zhao tells Yassin that money is not the most important factor for him.

“I’m not focused on that, I’m focused on building products that people use and how to do that in the most efficient and impactful way for the world.”

‘BS detector’

At its peak, FTX was valued at $32 billion, with Mr. Bankman-Fried luring high-profile celebrity investors such as NFL star Tom Brady and his then-wife Gisele Bundchen, and offering sponsorship deals including naming rights to the Miami Heat Arena.

However, questions are raised as to why red flags were not spotted sooner.

Elon Musk said over the weekend he knew early on that Mr Bankman-Fried was full of it.

Back in March, Mr Bankman-Fried Musk offered through intermediaries to help Twitter buy Twitter, according to texts leaked on Friday.

The texts show that Musk’s banker, Michael Grimes, told Musk Mr Bankman-Fried was offering “at least $3 billion” to help Musk fund the Twitter deal.

Musk was skeptical. He asked Mr Grimes: “Does Sam actually have $3 billion in liquidation?”

After the lyrics were leaked, Musk responded on Twitter: “Exactly. He triggered my BS detector, which is why I didn’t think he had $3 billion.”

The Tesla billionaire also responded to a resurfaced puff piece, which has since been deleted from the website of Sequoia Capital, FTX’s largest outside investor, which had a stake of $425 million at its peak.

In the article shared on Twitter by Armada ETFs founder Phil Bak, San Francisco-based freelance writer Adam Fisher gushed that “after my interview with SBF, I was convinced: I’ve spoken to a billionaire-to-be.”

“Whatever mojo he worked on the partners at Sequoia — who fell in love with him after a Zoom — worked on me, too,” Fisher wrote.

“For me, it was just a gut feeling … I don’t know how I know, I just know. SBF is a winner.”

But he added, “I also felt something else: something in my heart, not just in my stomach.”

“After sitting 10 feet away from him for most of the week, studying him in the human musk of start-up grind and chatting between bean bags, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this guy really is as selfless as he says he is be,” he wrote.

Musk commented on Twitter, “My reaction to SBF was… different.”

Sharing calms fears

On Friday, Mr. Bankman-Fried resigned from his position as CEO at Bahamas-based FTX and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The fourth largest exchange collapsed after suffering a liquidity crunch and being unable to meet customers’ withdrawal requests.

FTX is now facing numerous investigations into whether it mishandled customer funds amid reports that it has loaned sister trading company Alameda billions of dollars for risky bets.

According to that FinancialTimesFTX had less than $1 billion in cash versus $9 billion in debt before it went bankrupt.

Last week, Mr. Zhao warned that FTX’s implosion could reflect the start of the 2008 financial crisis.

“If FTX falls, we will see cascading effects,” he said at the annual Indonesian fintech summit in Bali. “Especially those close to the FTX ecosystem will be negatively impacted.”

Binance, along with rivals Crypto.com, OKX and Derebit, have vowed to release proof they have sufficient reserves to pay off their liabilities, while US-listed exchange Coinbase emailed customers on Friday in which she insisted her funds were “safe and secure.”

“Our public audited financial data confirms our financial strength and ample liquidity – we hold most of our assets in USD,” the email reads.

“We ended the third quarter with total available USD resources of $5.6 billion, including $5 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Coinbase holds customer assets 1:1 and we do not lend those assets without your consent.”

In a blog post last week, the company emphasized that this means “there can be no ‘run on the bank’ at Coinbase.”

SBF “interrogated by the police”

In the meantime, Bloomberg Mr Bankman-Fried was reportedly questioned by Bahamian police and regulators on Saturday.

That came after rumors he fled to South America on his private jet around the same time FTX reported that it had been “hacked” and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of crypto had been siphoned from its digital wallets.

“In the Bahamas, a law enforcement investigation does not necessarily mean that someone will be arrested or charged with a crime.” Bloomberg written down.

Mr. Bankman-Fried also faces investigations from the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Weekend Industry Website CoinTelegraph claimed Mr Bankman-Fried and two former FTX employees – co-founder Gary Wang and director of engineering Nishad Singh – were “under supervision” of local authorities in the Bahamas.

The report claimed that the trio, as well as Hong Kong-based CEO of Alameda Research Caroline Ellison, tried to flee to Dubai – which has no extradition treaty with the US.

“Right now three of them, Sam, Gary and Nishad, are under custody in the Bahamas which means they will have a hard time leaving,” an anonymous source told the publication, adding that Ms Ellison “may might be able to get to Dubai”.

In another startling twist, the Bahamas regulator issued a statement on Saturday blame FTX lying about why funds were drawn before filing for bankruptcy.

FTX had claimed that “in accordance with the regulations and regulators of our Bahamian HQ, we have begun facilitating withdrawals of Bahamian funds” and “therefore you may have seen some withdrawals processed by FTX recently as we comply with the regulations of the regulatory authorities complied with”.

In its statement, the Securities Commission of the Bahamas said it had “FTX Digital Markets Ltd. prioritizing withdrawals for Bahamian customers”.

in the a statement On Sunday, the Bahamas Police confirmed that a criminal investigation was underway against FTX.

“Given the global collapse of FTX and the temporary liquidation of FTX Digital Markets Ltd. A team of financial investigators from the Financial Crimes Investigation Branch is working closely with the Bahamas Securities Commission to investigate whether there has been any criminal wrongdoing,” police said.

frank.chung@news.com.au


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