Disgraced cryptocurrency billionaire — well, former billionaire — Sam Bankman-Fried isn't feeling much remorse after his $32 billion exchange FTX collapsed in a matter of days, leaving users unable to withdraw funds and triggering a broader downturn in the crypto market that lost money for countless people around the world.
But in a new interview with The New York Times, Bankman-Fried says he's doing fine and getting plenty of rest.
"You would’ve thought that I’d be getting no sleep right now, and instead I’m getting some," he told the newspaper from an undisclosed location, amid rumors that he may have already attempted to flee. "It could be worse."
FTX went down like a house of cards last week. Faced with a $8 billion "liquidity crunch," the exchange was forced to file for bankruptcy, with Bankman-Fried resigning.
"I fucked up, and should have done better," he wrote in an apologetic Twitter thread last week.
As he now admits, FTX's downfall was in large part due to the 30-year-old's own oversight.
"Had I been a bit more concentrated on what I was doing, I would have been able to be more thorough," he told the NYT. "That would have allowed me to catch what was going on on the risk side."
Bankman-Fried has been living in a resort in the Bahamas with numerous colleagues at FTX and related companies, and was reportedly romantically involved with business partner and sister company Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison.
Alameda has also emerged as a key factor in FTX's downfall, reportedly using FTX customer funds for trades and using the exchange's native token FTT as collateral.
Bankman-Fried, who now owes potentially millions of customers money, became synonymous with a controversial form of philanthropy often referred to as "effective altruism," the idea of using data to figure out how to bring as much benefit to as many people as possible.
But those commitments have waned given the dark cloud hovering over his business activities.
"The venture stuff was probably not really worth it given the attention that it took," Bankman-Fried told the NYT, referring to his own investments in other companies.
FTX's relationship with much bigger rival Binance also soured. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced he was liquidating his large stake in FTT, setting the stage for FTX's collapse days later.
At first, Zhao offered to bail FTX out, only to rescind his offer after taking a glance at FTX's books.
"Sam, I’m sorry," he wrote in a note obtained by the NYT, "but we won’t be able to continue this deal. Way too many issues. CZ."
It's an implosion of epic proportions, with billions of dollars' worth of assets in limbo. High-profile celebrities, including NFL legend Tom Brady, are wondering what the hell happened to their investments and holdings.
But Bankman-Fried isn't losing any sleep.
"People can say all the mean things they want about me online," he told the NYT. "In the end, what’s going to matter to me is what I’ve done and what I can do."
READ MORE: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Empire Collapsed [The New York Times]
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