When 2022 began, it seemed like cryptocurrency was going to have its biggest year yet. The industry oozed confidence. There were multiple big ads starring big time celebrities. One of them was for the currency exchange FTX. It starred Larry David. Tom Brady was also a fan. Last week the company filed for bankruptcy. Then it was discovered that a ton of money had gone missing. There are multiple investigations, including one by the Justice Department. How is its young, shorts-wearing founder taking it? Oh, well, you know.
“You would’ve thought that I’d be getting no sleep right now, and instead I’m getting some,” Sam Bankman-Fried told The New York Times on Sunday. “It could be worse.”
What else is he doing to occupy his time as he faces possible jailtime apart from sleeping? He said he’s been playing the video game Storybook Brawl. “It helps me unwind a bit,” he explained. “It clears my mind.” He also would not reveal where he’s staying, having allegedly fled the Bahamas, where FTX is based.
Last week, FTX collapsed after the once-prosperous crypto exchange suddenly had an $8 billion shortfall. Bankman-Fried has been suspected of using billions of dollars in customer funds to prop up another of his companies, Alameda Research. It’s yet another scandal for an industry that hit hard times back in the spring.
Bankman-Fried hadn’t commented on his struggles until the NYT chat, save some mysterious posts on social media:
Shortly before the interview, Mr. Bankman-Fried had posted a cryptic tweet: the word “What.” Then he had tweeted the letter H. Asked to explain, Mr. Bankman-Fried said he planned to post the letter A and then the letter P. “It’s going to be more than one word,” he said. “I’m making it up as I go.”
So he was planning a series of cryptic tweets? “Something like that.”
But why? “I don’t know,” he said. “I’m improvising. I think it’s time.”