Sam Bankman-Fried Is Done; Crypto Could Just Be Getting Started
The verdict is in: Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the founder of the world’s second-largest crypto exchange, FTX, now faces a guilty verdict on all seven criminal counts and could see 115 years in jail.
In recent weeks, SBF’s lawyers attempted to persuade a jury that moving assets between the crypto exchange and his investment fund, Alameda, was not a crime.
Did he succeed? Far from it. Jurors ruled against him in just five hours, a sign that his “tell all” stories did little to sway skeptical jurors. SBF attributed the company’s collapse to his ex-girlfriend and co-founder, Caroline Ellison, arguing that she failed to hedge the company’s investment fund against market volatility.
So… where’s our money? A separate bankruptcy case against FTX continues in Delaware, which aims to reunite over 1M customers and creditors with their funds. FTX has recovered $7.3B in assets, enough to potentially return up to **[90%](https://www.reuters.com/legal/sam-bankman-frieds-conviction-whats-next-2023-11-03/#:~:text=What about FTX customers%3F,proposed bankruptcy plan in December.)** of their funds — but expensive bankruptcy lawyers have collected over $326M in fees from the proceedings so far.
The mood in crypto is the opposite of what you’d expect…
Exactly one year ago, panicked investors withdrew over $5B from FTX in a single day, just before its collapse. Today, the market has undergone a remarkable transformation, with $BTC surging over 109% YTD, and crypto-related stocks like Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) rising 142%. Additionally, the industry’s holy grail, a spot Bitcoin ETF, is closer to being approved than ever before, and another historically bullish crypto event, “the halving,” is just months away.
- For chart-loving traders, Bitcoin’s relative strength indicator broke above 70, which $BTC surpassed right before the past two bull runs.
- Last week, trading volume eclipsed a six-month high, and crypto publication CoinDesk declared that the “crypto winter is over.”
To the moon or the grave? While the Justice Department continues to wage legal war against other crypto firms such as Binance, institutional investors and wealth managers are embracing its potential. HCM Wealth Advisors’ Vaughn Kellerman recommends a 1-5% Bitcoin allocation — while others, like Beyond Your Hammock Founder Eric Robert, express skepticism, suggesting that “Bitcoin could go to zero and there’s nothing stopping it from doing so” (BBG).