Sam Bankman-Fried — the CEO of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX and previously one of the top donors in US politics — begged for money as his empire crumbled, and continues to do so to this day.
When FTX suffered a liquidity crunch earlier this month, Bankman- Fried started calling any available option on his contact list asking for capital to inject into the exchange. According to a Nov. 16 Reuters report, he called some of the world’s biggest investors, including Sequoia Capital, Apollo Global Management Inc. and TPG Inc.
Sequoia — the same venture capital firm that enthusiastically invested in FTX just a few months before — was purportedly shocked at the amount of money needed to save the exchange. Apollo, on the other hand, first asked for more information and later decided to refuse the offer.
After Bankman-Fried exhausted his immediate options, FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, with an estimated 1 million creditors including major investors facing billions of dollars in losses. The collapse is already making waves with closely-tied exchanges and crypto-backed credit facilities blocking withdrawals.
BlockFi is purportedly preparing for a potential bankruptcy, SALT, suspended withdrawals just like FTX-owned Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid and crypto trading platform AAX. The full extent of the fallout of FTX’s collapse is yet to be seen.
For this reason, the crypto community has reason to hope that FTX rises from its burnt rubbles once again, and pays off all of its creditors — as opposed to bringing a big chunk of the cryptocurrency ecosystem down with it. Bankman-Fried promised in tweets sent today that his goal “is to do right” by his customers and that he still hopes to “raise liquidity, make customers whole and restart.” That being said, he admitted the most likely outcome:
“Maybe I’ll fail.”