Confronted by a crypto crisis he helped spark, former FTX.com chief executive officer Sam Bankman-Fried is tweeting through it.
On Nov 16, he added a further 18 tweets to a meandering thread he started at the beginning of the week. The posts, published at sporadic intervals, have combined apologies for his failings with his perspective on what went wrong at the companies he founded and ran. They add to a previous series of cryptic posts that eventually spelled out the message “What HAPPENED”, followed by a hint that there were revelations to come.
With the wisdom of hindsight, he stated how he would do his best to save customers’ cash, mused on how hard it is to regulate the crypto sphere and boasted how he had been “on the cover of every magazine” before FTX’s meteoric crash. “We got overconfident and careless,” he said.
It is unclear whether the tweets by Bankman-Fried, who is facing questioning by everyone from the US Department of Justice to regulators in the Bahamas, will help or hinder his legal defence.
He concluded the most recent tweets in the thread with, “What matters is what you do – is *actually* doing good or bad, not just *talking* about doing good or *using ESG language*. Anyway – none of that matters now. What matters is doing the best I can. And doing everything I can for FTX’s customers.”
But he didn’t make clear exactly how he intends to help customers of the collapsed Bahamas-based crypto exchange, given he’s no longer CEO.
The backlash to the posts was swift, with FTX’s new management quick to distance themselves from him. The company posted a statement attributed to former Enron liquidator and new FTX CEO John J. Ray that read: “Mr Bankman-Fried has no ongoing role at @FTX_Official, FTX US, or Alameda Research Ltd and does not speak on their behalf.”
Others on crypto twitter were more cutting. “You’ll have plenty of time to sort this out in jail,” one user replied, while another made more detailed accusations: “You were reckless with customer funds,” they wrote. “Some lost everything. You should get zero sympathy, you’re like 30 years old. You belong in jail.”
Bankman-Fried could not be immediately reached for comment. – Bloomberg