Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried says he ‘made a lot of mistakes’

WASHINGTON: Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of cryptocurrency giant FTX, defended his actions on Wednesday in his first public appearance since his exchange collapsed earlier this month, reported Anadolu.

“Clearly, I made a lot of mistakes. There are things I would give anything to be able to do over again. I didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone,“ said Bankman-Fried.

The 30-year-old was speaking at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit via video link from the Bahamas in his first public speech after the collapse of FTX and its sister trading firm Alameda Research.

On Nov 11, FTX filed for bankruptcy protection in the US, and Bankman-Fried also stepped down as CEO.

“I was excited about the prospects of FTX a month ago. I saw it as a thriving, growing business. I was shocked by what happened this month. And you know, reconstructing it… there are things that I wish I had done differently,“ he said.

The former crypto billionaire also distanced himself from Alameda, which he said became larger over the course of 2022.

“I wasn’t running Alameda. I didn’t know exactly what was going on. I didn’t know the size of their position,“ said Bankman-Fried, adding “that’s a pretty big oversight that I wasn’t more aware.”

He also said that FTX could have margin call positions and could have “closed them down in time such that it would cover all of those, all those shorts, all those liabilities,“ but it did not do so.

“And that’s a massive failure of oversight of risk management,“ he added.

FTX, which was the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, filed for bankruptcy earlier this month due to liquidity problems.

While Bankman-Fried later apologized to investors in a series of tweets, cryptocurrencies went into freefall due to the financial turmoil and perceived risks of investors.

The exchange once boasted a US$32 billion valuation.

Bankman-Fried, a Democrat donor, told ABC News this week that he currently has just one ATM card and US$100,000 in his bank account. He once had an estimated fortune of more than US$20 billion.


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