Sam Bankman-Fried: FTX CEO called ‘the most generous billionaire’ in NasDaily video

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange, was praised as “the most generous billionaire” in a video that surfaced earlier this year.

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

Among them is Binance, the largest crypto exchange, whose founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao was also featured in a curiously similar puff piece by YouTuber Nuseir Yassin of NasDaily.

“The guy you see next to me is the most generous billionaire in the world,” Yassin says excitedly 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! But Sam has $22 billion. And he wants to give it all to charity. But why?”

Yassin goes on to say that the crypto founder “is not a traditional billionaire because he believes in the concept of ‘earn to give,’ which means his goal as a human is to earn as much money as possible just to give away.”

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

“Earning to give is thinking about what causes, what charities save the most lives per dollar. The amount of good you can do for the future of the world is really big and it’s so much more than you can do to make yourself happy with anything like that amount of money.”

In May, Zhao appeared in an equally enthusiastic NasDaily video calling him the “humblest crypto millionaire.”

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

“In fact, CZ doesn’t care about money. Look at her clothes! She doesn’t have fancy clothes or cars, and she plans to donate her wealth to charity.”

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

“I don’t focus on that, I focus on building products that people use, how to make it the most efficient, the most impactful for the world.”

‘BS detector’

At its peak, FTX was valued at $32 billion, and Bankman-Fried attracted high-profile celebrity investors such as NFL star Tom Brady and then-wife Gisele Bündchen, and secured sponsorship deals, including naming rights to Miami Heat.

But they are raising questions about why the red flags weren’t picked up earlier.

Elon Musk said over the weekend that he knew from the beginning that Bankman-Fried was full of it.

In March, Bankman-Fried offered through intermediaries to help Musk buy Twitter, according to texts leaked Friday.

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

Musk was skeptical. He asked Mr. Grimes, “Does Sam really have $3 million liquid?”

After the texts were leaked, Musk responded on Twitter: “Right. Got my BS detector going so I didn’t think I had $3 million.”

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

In the piece, shared on Twitter by Armada ETF founder Phil Bak, San Francisco freelance writer Adam Fisher said that “after my interview with SBF, I was convinced: I was talking to a future trillionaire.”

“Whatever mojo worked on the Sequoia partners, who fell in love with it after a Zoom, had also worked on me,” Fisher wrote.

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

But he added “there was something else I felt: something in my heart, not just in my gut.”

“After sitting 10 feet from him for most of the week, studying him in the human musk of the new company’s grind and chatting between beanbag naps, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this guy is actually as selfless as he claims. good,” he wrote.

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

Exchange quiet fears

On Friday, Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO of Bahamas-based FTX and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The fourth largest exchange collapsed after suffering a liquidity crisis, unable to meet customer withdrawal requests.

FTX now faces numerous investigations into whether it mishandled client funds, amid reports that it lent billions of dollars to sister trading firm Alameda for risky bets.

According to the Financial TimesFTX had less than $1 billion in liquid assets versus $9 billion in liabilities before it went bankrupt.

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

“With FTX falling, we will see cascading effects,” he told the annual Indonesia Fintech Summit in Bali. “Especially for those close to the FTX ecosystem, they will be adversely affected.”

Binance, along with rivals Crypto.com, OKX and Derebit, have promised to release evidence that they hold enough reserves to cover their liabilities, while US-listed exchange Coinbase sent an email to customers on Friday insisting that its funds are “safe and secure”.

“Our public and audited financial accounts confirm our financial strength and ample liquidity – we largely hold our assets in USD,” the email said.

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

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

SBF “questioned by the police”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Bankman-Fried was interviewed by Bahamian police and regulators on Saturday.

That came after rumors that he had fled on his private jet to South America, while FTX reported that he had been “hacked” and hundreds of millions of dollars were taken from his digital wallets.

“In the Bahamas, police investigations do not necessarily mean that someone will be arrested or charged with a crime,” he said. Bloomberg pointed out

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

During the weekend, website of the sector CoinTelegraph Bankman-Fried and two former FTX partners, co-founder Gary Wang and director of engineering Nishad Singh, were “under supervision” by local authorities in the Bahamas.

The report claimed that the trio, as well as Caroline Ellison, the CEO of Hong Kong-based Alameda Research, were trying to flee to Dubai, which does not have an extradition treaty with the US.

“At the moment three of them, Sam, Gary and Nishad are under supervision in the Bahamas, which means it will be difficult for them to leave,” an anonymous source told the publication, adding that Ellison “could make it to Dubai.” “.

In another stunning twist, the Bahamas regulator issued a statement on Saturday accusing FTX of lying about why funds were withdrawn before filing for bankruptcy.

FTX had stated that “in accordance with regulation and regulators at our Bahamas headquarters, we have begun facilitating the withdrawal of funds from the Bahamas” and “as such, you may have seen some withdrawals processed by FTX recently as we comply with regulators.”

In its statement, the Bahamas Securities Commission said it “did not direct, authorize or suggest to FTX Digital Markets Ltd. the prioritization of withdrawals from customers in the Bahamas.”

In a statement on Sunday, Bahamian police confirmed that FTX was facing a criminal investigation.

“In light of the global collapse of FTX and the provisional 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 any wrongdoing occurred criminal conduct,” police said. . .

frank.chung@news.com.au

Originally Posted as SBF Dubbed ‘Most Generous Billionaire’ In Awkward Video Before FTX Collapse

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