From Crypto King to Courtroom: The Sam Bankman-Fried Saga

October 5, 2023

Testimonies and Lavish Lifestyles from the FTX Founder's Trial

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GM 👋

This is the Smoothie Newsletter.

FTX customers might get their full funds back.

Google & Amazon have pumped billions in Anthropic AI recently.

FTX was an early investor in the company and their stake in the company might cover all of the claims by FTX customers.

That’s good news!

Matt & Vineet

Yesterday was Day 1 of Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial.

The once-celebrated founder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and Alameda Research.

Accusations flew thick and fast, with Thane Rehn, an assistant U.S. attorney, taking center stage. He painted a picture of a mogul living a life of luxury built on deceptions, pointing to Bankman-Fried's extravagant $30 million Bahamian apartment and his private jets.

Rehn didn't stop at the lavish lifestyle. He dug deeper, alleging the misuse of FTX customer funds for personal enrichment. The heart of the accusation? Bankman-Fried's purported use of customer funds as a personal piggy bank.

However, every story has two sides.

Mark Cohen, representing Bankman-Fried, passionately defended his client. Far from the image of a fraudulent tycoon, Cohen described him as a diligent "math nerd" from MIT, dedicated to his work and far removed from the excesses of a hedonistic lifestyle.

But the trial had more revelations in store. Two standout testimonies left the courtroom riveted. Marc-Antoine Juilliard, an FTX user, spoke of his loss of $100,000, recounting the faith he placed in FTX, swayed by its associations with high-profile names and major investment firms.

However, it was Adam Yedidia's testimony that was particularly poignant. A college roommate and close friend of Bankman-Fried, Yedidia opened up about their luxurious life in The Bahamas. His revelations about Alameda's alleged misuse of FTX customer deposits to clear debts added a dramatic twist to the narrative.

The trial is slated to span six weeks.

The crypto world watches as one of its major figures faces his days in court.

Blackbird: $24M

Blockchain-based loyalty program for diners Blackbird raises $24M in a Series A funding round led by a16z crypto with participation from QED, Union Square Ventures, Shine Capital, Variant and others.


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