Sam Bankman-Fried, the embattled CEO of one of the industry’s leading crypto exchanges, FTX, is currently worth less than $100,000.
The former crypto billionaire who was worth $24 billion as of march last year, is kicking off the year facing charges and wondering how he will afford his team of lawyers.
Bnakman-Fried, who pleaded not guilty to charges including cheating investors out of billions, is currently awaiting trial which is scheduled to commence in nine months.
The fall: Sam Bankman Fried was the poster boy of cryptocurrency until the current turmoil that has rocked the market.
He went from one of the richest men in cryptocurrency to bankruptcy after both his companies FTX and Alameda Research collapsed in November.
FTX was founded in 2019 by Former Wall Street trader Sam Bankman-Fried and ex-Google employee Gary Wang.
At its peak, FTX Exchange was valued at $32 billion. SBF also amassed a personal wealth that peaked at $26.5 billion thanks to his ownership of about half of FTX and a share of its FTT tokens.
The backstory: The problem started in November 2022 when the crypto news website CoinDesk reported a leaked balance sheet that showed Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s crypto trading firm, was heavily dependent on FTX’s native token FTT.
This was followed by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao liquidating all its holdings of FTT due to unspecified “recent revelations” according to Reuters.
The move by Binance raised an alarm that witnessed thousands of investors rushing to withdraw all their money at the same time, thus wrecking the coffers of the FTX Exchange and depreciating the value of the FTT.
Sam Bankman Fried witnessed a massive drop in net worth, going from a whopping $16 billion to a low of $991 million in a single day.
The fall continued well into December when SBF was forced to declare FTX bankrupt.
In the early days of the new year, Sam Bankman-Fried is worth less than $100,000 and is currently leaving with his parents.
Case Against SBF: SBF was extradited from The Bahamas to the United States to face charges of wire fraud and money laundering.
He is accused of diverting billions of dollars of investor funds to buy real estate, make political donations and prop up his cryptocurrency trading hedge fund, Alameda Research.
He faces a 115-year sentence if convicted.
What You Should Know: 17 of crypto’s wealthiest investors and founders have collectively lost an estimated $116 billion in personal wealth since March 2022.
The biggest loser is Binance’s very own founder Changpeng Zhao who witnessed his wealth go from $65bn in early march 2022 to $4.5bn currently.
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