|The jurors were selected and sworn in. Opening statements were made. Welcome to crypto’s make-or-break trial.
Yes, Sam Bankman-Fried, not crypto, is the one on trial. But make no mistake: the industry has plenty at risk despite not being listed as a defendant.
(For a refresher on the trial, start here.)
Bankman-Fried, the cofounder and ex-CEO of crypto exchange FTX, was deeply enmeshed in the crypto ecosystem. Simply known as SBF, he became one of the industry’s most recognizable faces (and heads of hair).
Plenty of people were happy to go along for the ride, from high-profile backers like Tom Brady and Kevin O’Leary to startups looking for funding.
That’s why SBF’s trial boils down to crypto’s trial. FTX’s bankruptcy filing and Michael Lewis’ book on Bankman-Fried have been eye-opening, to put it mildly. The proceedings will likely provide more fascinating details about the inner workings of FTX and the broader crypto industry, potentially airing out its dirty laundry and shortcomings.
SBF’s own defense team seems keen to start pointing fingers, according to reporting from Insider’s Katie Balevic, Jacob Shamsian, and Grace Kay. In his opening statements, Mark Cohen, SBF’s defense attorney, shifted blame to Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, and the volatility of the crypto market.