Disgraced FTX founder denies rumor he fled to Argentina via text message: ‘No’


Where is Sam Bankman Fried? The answer is no small feat.

On Friday, he stepped down as CEO of FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that imploded dramatically this week. The sudden fall and bankruptcy of FTX has eroded already fragile confidence in the crypto industry and sparked new calls for tougher regulation in the space.

After his resignation, crypto watchers speculated that he fled to Argentina on a private jet. But did he? Reuters reported on Saturday morning that he had asked her by text message if he had done so, to which he replied “No”.

It then emerged that he had instead traveled to the Bahamas, where FTX is based. Bahamian police and regulators questioned him on Saturday, according to Bloomberg, citing a “person familiar with the matter.”

The intrigue surrounding the location of the crypto mogul is remarkable given how open and accessible it seemed before.

“You would email the FTX press team and Sam Bankman-Fried himself would email you back. He was very approachable, very approachable,” said the wall street journal reporter Caitlin Ostroff in a Friday episode of The newspaper podcast.

But even a few months ago, Bankman-Fried seemed to dither over a simple question about where he lives, telling reporters on a Zoom call: “I, um, so, sorry, I’m hesitating because I mostly sleep on a bag…I live, I don’t know. Technically, I live alone, but I don’t sleep there. I mostly sleep on sofas and ottomans.

He was asked on this call about the boundaries between FTX and Alameda Research. FTX loaned billions of dollars to Alameda Research, money that was used to fund risky bets, according to reports from CoinDesk, then the the wall street journal.

Billionaire Mark Cuban said Friday that Bankman-Fried was running FTX in a “dumb” way: “So what is Sam Bankman doing? He just, give me more, give me more, give me more, so I’m gonna borrow some money, lend it to my affiliate, and hope and pretend that the FTT tokens that’s out there on my balance sheet will retain their value. »

Bankman-Fried isn’t the only disgraced crypto mogul who has had people guessing where he is. Do Kwon, the co-founder of Terraform Labs in South Korea, has denied fleeing authorities in his home country, where he faces allegations of manipulating the price of stablecoin Terra, which collapsed in May . Korean prosecutors alleged in September that, despite his claims, he was “obviously on the run”.

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