Fear of 'angry people' prompted Bankman-Fried to open withdrawals for Bahamians

Fear of ‘angry people’ prompted Bankman-Fried to open withdrawals for Bahamians

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has disclosed what really happened in the days leading up to the bankruptcy filing when the exchange selectively reopened withdrawals – only for Bahamian users.

In a phone interview with crypto blogger Tiffany Fong, dated Nov. 16, Bankman-Fried says he made the decision to reopen withdrawals to Bahamian citizens because he didn’t want himself or the exchange to be in a country. “with a lot of”. angry people in there.

“The reason I did it was that it was essential that the exchange could have a future because that’s where I am right now, and you don’t want to be in a country with a lot of people angry and you don’t want your business incorporated in a country that has a lot of angry people,” he said.

Bankman-Fried claims he gave Bahamian securities regulators a “one-day warning” that FTX was going to do so, but said the regulator did not respond with a “yes or no” before saying ultimately decide to allow withdrawals.

“So it was realistic, it’s shitty, but […] the lane for FTX involved Bahamians not being pissed off.

The now-defunct crypto exchange initially halted all withdrawals on November 8 due to liquidity concerns.

On Nov. 10, just a day before it filed for bankruptcy, the exchange noted that it had begun facilitating withdrawals of Bahamian funds. At the time, he claimed he was in compliance with the requirements of regulators in the country, which resulted in millions of dollars in funds being mined from the exchange.

However, the Bahamas Securities Commission (SCB) threw a wrench in FTX’s narrative, saying on Nov. 12 that it had neither ordered nor authorized FTX to prioritize withdrawals from Bahamian customers.

They also warned that any withdrawal of funds could be recovered as part of the company’s liquidation process.

Cointelegraph contacted the SCB to confirm whether it had received any communication from FTX prior to the reopening of withdrawals from the exchange, and what its response was at the time. The SCB did not immediately react.

In his last interview with Fong, Bankman-Fried denied that the move was intended to facilitate withdrawals by people within FTX after Fong suggested that was how it was perceived.

“Oh, it wasn’t insider takedowns, it was trying to create a regulatory lane for the trade.”

SBF was on the trail of hacker FTX

The former FTX CEO also noted during the Nov. 16 interview that he was close to uncovering the identity of hacker FTX, who allegedly stole over $450 million in assets shortly after the filing. review of the exchange on November 11.

“I don’t know exactly who because they cut off all access to the systems when I was halfway through exploring it. I narrowed it down to eight people. I don’t know which one it was, but I have common sense.

Bankman-Fried said he believed it was “either an ex-employee or somewhere someone installed malware on an ex-employee’s computer.”

Related: “I’ve never opened the code for FTX”: SBF has a long candid conversation with the vlogger

In a separate, more recent interview with Sam Bankman-Fried by Axios on Nov. 29, the former FTX CEO revealed that he only has around $100,000 left in his bank account as of this writing.

This despite the fact that Bankman-Fried was worth around $26 billion at its peak.

Bankman-Fried says he had “essentially everything” tied up in the now-bankrupt company.

“I mean, I have no idea. I don’t know. I had $100,000 in my bank account the last time I checked,” he said.