After a month-long trial, the founder of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, was found guilty of seven counts of fraud and money laundering on Thursday.1
Bankman-Fried — who maintains his innocence — was charged last year over allegations that he stole money from his customers at the FTX exchange to support his company, Alameda Research.2
Adding to the former crypto tycoon's legal woes, prosecutors are seeking a second court case to address allegations of campaign finance infractions, bribery, and bank fraud.1
That trial had been scheduled for March 11, though prosecutors have yet to confirm whether they plan to move ahead.3
Bankman-Fried — who could face over 100 years in prison — is scheduled to be sentenced on March 28.3
Meanwhile, three witnesses in the trial — former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, former FTX co-founder Gary Wang, and an engineer at the bankrupt crypto exchange — pleaded guilty to fraud at the end of 2022 and early 2023.1
Narrative A, as provided by Vox. FTX was seen as one of the more reputable firms in the crypto world, and its founder was considered a Capitol Hill darling, having donated millions to political campaigns and helped write legislation around cryptocurrencies. This predictable end to this shocking story — which will have ripple effects across the cryptosphere — will likely be the nail in the coffin for the industry.
Narrative B, as provided by Marketplace. Despite the myriad of problems exposed by the FTX fiasco, cryptocurrency can't be counted out as a viable long-term investment. While it will take work to rebuild trust in the industry, it can be done with the help of oversight, as this case has renewed calls for more regulation of this 'wild west' financial space.