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FTX Roundup: SBF Gives Interview, Missing Funds Move, and Politicians Return Donations

Collapsed exchange FTX was the subject of various developments today.

FTX Roundup: SBF Gives Interview, Missing Funds Move, and Politicians Return Donations
Photo credit: Lam Yik/Bloomberg (edited by Mariia Kozyr)

Key Takeaways

  • In a conversation published today, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried discussed his actions during FTX's collapse.
  • 255 BTC ($4.2 million) of funds taken from FTX were appear to have been deposited on crypto exchange OKX.
  • BlockFi's bankruptcy proceedings revealed that the firm has $355 million frozen on FTX.

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Weeks after its collapse, FTX remains a focal point of the crypto news cycle.

SBF Interview Leaked

FTX CEO Bankman-Fried made headlines on Tuesday, November 29, after he gave a phone interview to YouTuber Tiffany Fong in which he provided greater context into many of his earlier actions.

During the conversation, Bankman-Fried provided details on why FTX briefly reopened withdrawals in the Bahamas during its collapse. While early statements suggested that the company had complied with regulators, Bankman-Fried admitted that the company had reached out to regulators and received no response within one day.

“They didn’t respond, and then we did it,” Bankman-Fried said, suggesting that the decision “was critical to the exchange being able to have a future.”

Bankman-Fried also said that his lawyers told him not to admit to wrongdoing, referring to an apology he wrote on Twitter on November 10 in which he wrote, “I’m sorry… I fucked up.” Bankman-Fried said that his lawyers told him: “You have to promise that you never, ever, ever say you fucked up again.”

Other FTX Developments

Other facts concerning FTX have come to light. Today, independent crypto sleuth ZachXBT claimed to have tracked the movement of funds mysteriously withdrawn from FTX in early November. ZachXBT believed that the perpetrator transferred 255 BTC ($4.1 million) to the crypto exchange OKX after mixing funds via ChipMixer.

The Texas Tribune stated that Texas Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke had returned a $1 million donation from Bankman-Fried. O’Rourke reportedly returned the donation because it was unsolicited, not because of controversy around FTX. The funds were returned on November 4 before the exchange’s collapse. Relatedly, the authors of the Popular Information substack stated at least seven other politicians had also returned funds donated by FTX leaders before November 16.

Finally, BlockFi’s bankruptcy proceedings have revealed that the lending firm has deeper connections to FTX, including $335 million of assets frozen on FTX’s exchange. BlockFi has additionally sued Bankman-Fried in an attempt to seize Robinhood shares once pledged as collateral. The filing yesterday suggested that the company owes FTX $275 million.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other digital assets.

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