Does the extradition of one crypto’s highest-profile players mean digital currencies are fundamentally unsound? | UK News
, 2022-12-22 11:23:38,
As a symbol of the year in crypto, the sight of Sam Bankman-Fried being hustled out of court in Nassau to a blacked-out SUV that would take him to an airfield, and an extradition flight to New York, takes some beating.
For the highest-profile player in cryptocurrency, 2022 has come to an abrupt and unforgiving end.
The man who received celebrities, prime ministers and presidents in shorts and a T-shirt is no longer the quirky nerd whose genius might unlock the potential to earn digital billions.
Instead, he’s the face of a massive fraud, accused of using customers’ money in the crypto exchange FTX to cover his bad bets and fund a Bahamian penthouse lifestyle while he preached a doctrine of altruism, in which his millions were earned in the service of the less fortunate.
Prosecutors revealed on Wednesday that his closest partners in the business, his co-founder and the some-time girlfriend who ran his crypto hedge fund, have turned, pleading guilty to wrongdoing and providing evidence against him.
SBF, as he is sometimes known, has insisted that none of this was intentional, that the siphoning of customer money to his private accounts is a function of incompetence rather than venality.
But with tens of millions of those dollars having been directed to political donations, Washington is as embarrassed as celebrities like Tom Brady – who beamed their endorsements in FTX’s lavish marketing campaigns – and the outlook is bleak.
Was it inevitable?
The question for…
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