Report: FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Facing Market Manipulation Inquiry
Federal prosecutors in NY are probing FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) over potential market manipulation leading to the collapse of Terraform Lab's cryptocurrencies, TerraUSD and Luna, to benefit FTX and its hedge fund Alameda Research.
- Federal prosecutors in NY are probing FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) over potential market manipulation leading to the collapse of Terraform Lab's cryptocurrencies, TerraUSD and Luna, to benefit FTX and its hedge fund Alameda Research.
- TerraUSD was supposedly a stablecoin, but unlike other stablecoins it wasn't backed by the US dollar. Instead, its value came from the Luna coin through a complex set of algorithms. Whenever TerraUSD's price fell, traders would create more Lunas to match the difference.
- In May, traders and exchanges saw a sudden increase in "sell" orders for TerraUSD which, under normal circumstances, would've been met with matching "buy" orders of Luna. However, the overwhelming shift led to an abnormal drop in value for both coins.
- The investigation is in its early stages, and prosecutors have yet to provide a timeline for the probe or announce any wrongdoing by SBF. Sources have said prosecutors are seeking information from investors and potential investors in FTX.
- This comes as FTX and its founder face multiple other investigations into the company's collapse last month in which $1B in customer funds vanished. Authorities in the US and Bahamas, home to FTX headquarters, are leading these investigations.
- The US House Finance Services Committee is also looking into the subject, with committee chair Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) having faced scrutiny for saying she wouldn't subpoena SBF. She later said that "a subpoena is definitely on the table."
Sources: FI, New York Times, Reuters, One America, and Daily Mail.
- Republican narrative, as provided by NY Post. While authorities are looking into Sam Bankman-Fried and his years-long Ponzi scheme, you shouldn't hold your breath waiting for an indictment. SBF has gotten away with his crimes for so long because he's been a top Democrat donor. This fact is why he's received praise from the media and kid gloves from the government even after his so-called "company" collapsed and millions lost their savings.
- Democratic narrative, as provided by Intelligencer. While some have jumped the gun and compared SBF to Bernie Madoff, this case is actually very different. Madoff immediately confessed to all of his crimes, and the Feds were also able to compile concrete evidence against him. Neither of these has occurred in the case of FTX and its founder. Congress and the DOJ are looking into the issue, but it will take some time to build a case against the crypto CEO.