Sam Bankman-Fried’s—the controversial crypto king and owner of the defunct exchange FTX—trial is finally underway, and there are some surprising aspects pointed out by his defense attorneys. Last week, Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud and five counts of conspiracy. The charges are all directly related to the collapse of crypto exchange FTX. In his opening statement, his lawyer said something that took everyone aback. Apparently, his lawyers acknowledged that FTX was a risky business as ‘crypto is not for everyone’.
That wouldn’t be much of a shocker had FTX not claimed the opposite back in its days. Six months before its collapse, FTX literally invited everyone in with a tweet, suggesting the exact opposite.
A Key Issue in the Trial
One of the key aspects in the trial could be something surprising. It seems that FTX’s marketing to retail investors will be more in the focus than we believed. The defunct crypto exchange tried to broaden the appeal for crypto. It did well on that front, but now it could be used against its creator, and it’s all thanks to his lawyers’ controversial claims.
As soon as the controversyal claim has been made, prosecutors proceeded to show the jury FTX video investments. Some of them featured the exchange’s ambassadors, including legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady and comedian Larry David. The advertisements showed a narrator saying ‘we’re inviting everyone in’, implying that crypto is for everyone. Almost a year later after FTX’s demise, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers are claiming otherwise.
According to the prosecutors, Bankman-Fried used his influence and FTX’s reach to steal over $10 billion from his customers. The money were invested in luxury real estate, as well as to close up large holes in his hedge fun. Sam Bankman-Friend also used some of the money he stole to fun US political candidates.
The 31-year old has pledged not guilty to all accounts. He still believes he can return some of the money, but it all seems like a lost cause now. The opening statement certainly went against him, and if his lawyers make claims that can easily be refuted, Bankman-Fried could be in jail before he knows it.
FTX’s Implications on the Crypto Market
What happened with FTX has had far-reaching implications on the crypto market. After November 2022, nothing is ever the same. The crypto market never recovered, and with other macroeconomic issues around the world, it may never stand on the same feet again.
Crypto prices have fallen, while other exchanges that still exist delist certain coins in order to avoid troubles with the law. Furthermore, the fact that Bankman-Fried supposedly stole billions from his customers have given naysayers fuel to hate cryptocurrencies even more. Many view crypto exchanges as scams, even if that’s not the case. One rotten apple can spoil a full basket, though, and that was the case with FTX.
We’re anxious to see what happens with the trial, although it’s not going well for the ex-FTX boss right now.