The FTX saga is certain to be one of the most infamous stories in the whirlwind history of crypto. Already, documentarians are working on films relating to the FTX news. Michael Lewis is writing a book documenting his months spent with founder Sam Bankman-Fried. Recently, though, the company’s founder has stepped out of the spotlight and laid low. This week, investors are getting one of the lengthiest interviews from Bankman-Fried since his company’s collapse.
Crypto influencer and citizen journalist Tiffany Fong knows her way around a skittish crypto executive. Since being burned out of a $200,000 investment by the bankrupt Celsius Network earlier in the year, Fong has been putting great pressure on the company’s CEO, Alex Mashinsky, to increase investor transparency.
Fong has now released a pair of audio interviews with Sam Bankman-Fried, publishing the newest one on Tuesday. In this interview, Bankman-Fried answers some of the burning questions crypto investors have been asking on Twitter.
In the 23-minute interview, Fong pressures the FTX founder to clarify several conspiracy theories circulating about the company. Right off the bat, Bankman-Fried finds himself explaining away accusations of back-dooring — a practice in which employees squirrel away assets in secret. Later in the interview, Bankman-Fried admits to sending dark money donations to Republican politicians and denies rumors of the Ukraine government secretly investing in the company.
The interview is very candid, and it leads to some interesting comments. Atop admitting he doesn’t even know how to code, Bankman-Fried continues to defend the company’s practice of collateralizing loans with its FTX Token (FTT-USD). The tough line of questioning makes for some of Bankman-Fried’s most articulate commentary on the FTX meltdown yet.
The Latest FTX News
This peek into the mind of Sam Bankman-Fried helps to provide much context behind the increasingly scandalous FTX news.
There’s still much mystery surrounding the company’s meltdown. After all, it wouldn’t have even happened if CoinDesk’s insider report hadn’t catalyzed a bank run on the FTX Token. The company would likely still be in operation right now.
Even now, as FTX marches through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, there’s little information in the way of documentation. After Sam Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO, and former Enron liquidator John Ray III stepped into the role, investors got to see just how much of FTX operated on a scorched Earth policy.
“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here,” Ray said as he stepped into his role. The experienced liquidator is running into trouble as he helps the court get an idea of FTX’s financials. Atop a lack of consistent operating procedures, Ray says Bankman-Fried and others communicated through channels that delete messages after reading. This practice left little to no internal communication to parse through.
As it stands, the court does not have a clear idea of how much money FTX possesses — or even how many people it employs, for that matter. The sheer amount of questions left unanswered has allowed conspiracies to abound, as Fong’s interview shows. Thus, this interview extracted lots of information to scrutinize. Regardless of whether Bankman-Fried is being truthful, his sporadic interviews and Twitter threads are important keys to navigating the biggest rabbit hole in cryptocurrency.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.