Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried unleashed a tirade against regulators, called “ethics” a “dumb game we woke westerners play,” and insisted his biggest mistake was filing for bankruptcy in a wild, wide-ranging interview.
“I f—ed up. Big. Multiple times,” the fallen 30-year-old cryptocurrency mogul admitted to Vox reporter Kelsey Piper in a Twitter confessional that even she admitted being shocked about it.
“You know what was mabe my biggest single f—up? The one thing everyone told me to do,” he said.
“Chapter 11,” he said, claiming that without bankruptcy “everything would be ~70% right now if I hadn’t” done it.
“Instead I filed, and the people in charge of [the company] are trying to burn it all to the ground out of shame,” he complained.
Bankman-Fried — who is believed to be hiding out in the Bahamas — blamed “messy accounting” for how his hedge fund, Alameda Research, had borrowed money from FTX’s balance sheet for investments.
“I didn’t realize [the] full size of it until a few weeks ago,” he wrote, saying it “was messier and more organic” than simply lending out customer funds.
“Each step was in isolation rational and reasonable, and then we finally added it up last week and it wasn’t,” he wrote.
He maintained that he “didn’t want to do sketchy stuff.”
“And I didn’t mean to. Each individual decision seemed fine and I didn’t realize how big their sum was until the end,” he said.
“It was never the intention” to get away with it, he said, adding: “Sometimes life creeps up on you.”
Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried admitted that his advocacy for better crypto regulation in Washington was “just PR” — and bluntly dismissed official bodies supposed to protect customers against crooked companies.
“F–k regulators. They make everything worse. They don’t protect customers at all,” he wrote.
He admitted the exchange was genuine, however, claimed he thought it was an exchange with a friend and not one that would be posted online.
He then added his own clarifications after Vox published the comments — attempting to walk back his crude assessment of regulators.
“It’s really hard to be a regulator. They have an impossible job: to regulate entire industries that grow faster than their mandate allows them to,” he now wrote, saying some had “deeply impressed me with their knowledge and thoughtfulness.”
“Some of what I said was thoughtless or overly strong — I was venting and not intending that to be public,” he tweeted.
This time, he blamed being “overconfident and careless” from being “on the cover of every magazine, and FTX was the darling of Silicon Valley.”
Now, he said, his “goal — my one goal — is to do right by customers.”
“Im contribute what I can to doing so. I’m meeting in-person with regulators and working with the teams to do what we can for customers. And after that, investors. But first, customers,” he said.
“It sucks. I’m really sorry that things ended up as they did. And as I said — I’m going to do everything I can to make it more right.”