By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis said yesterday he was informed that embattled former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been interviewed by local authorities as investigations continue into the collapse of the crypto giant.
“I heard that he was,” Mr Davis said to reporters when asked about the issue yesterday.
He also told reporters he was not concerned that FTX’s collapse would negatively impact the country’s real estate market.
This comes after Mr Bankman-Fried gave a nearly hour long interview with journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin on Wednesday at the DealBook Summit in New York City.
He spoke at the summit via video call from The Bahamas where he opened up about the crypto giant’s downfall and his transgressions that led to it.
He also recently sat down with ABC News for his first network interview since the swift collapse of his company, where he denied having knowledge of any “improper use” of customer funds.
The interview also took place from The Bahamas and was aired on the station yesterday morning.
When asked if he was worried about going to jail, Mr Bankman-Fried said: “There are a lot of things that are worrying me right now and as best as possible, I am trying to focus on what I can do going forward to be helpful and let whatever regulatory and legal processes that’s happening play out as they will.”
FTX’s swift demise came after CoinDesk, a publication which reports on cryptocurrency, broke the news in early November about a leaked document that appeared to show that Alameda Research, Mr Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency trading firm, held an unusually large amount of FTT tokens.
FTT tokens were created by FTX.
Days later, Binance, a crypto exchange considered a major rival to FTX, announced that it was selling all remaining FTT tokens, which then led to a large number of clients’ simultaneous withdrawing its assets from FTX.
After facing a liquidity crisis, FTX, Alameda Research, and “dozens other affiliated companies” filed a bankruptcy petition in Delaware.
The firm’s collapse is currently being investigated by local and international law agencies, who are particularly looking at the handling of FTX customers’ funds.
Addressing the downfall, the former CEO told ABC News: “Some part of it was just literal distraction. I really should have spent some time each day taking a step back and saying what are the most important things here and how do I have oversight of those and make sure that I’m not losing track of those.
“And frankly, I did a pretty incomplete job of that. I spent a lot less time looking at assets and looking at balances and positions because that’s not where revenue came from.”
Mr Bankman-Fried also admitted to not spending any effort on risk management, noting that was “obviously a mistake.”
“If I had been spending an hour a day thinking about risk management on FTX, I don’t think that would have happened,” he said. “I think I stopped working as hard for a bit. Honestly, if I look back on myself, I think I got a little cocky. I mean even more than a little bit and I think part of me felt like we made it.”
FTX Digital Markets, which is headquartered in The Bahamas, is the Bahamian subsidiary of FTX Trading Ltd, which is owner and operator of FTX.
It was incorporated in The Bahamas in July 2021 and has since injected millions of dollars into the Bahamian economy, mainly through real estate.
Last month, the Bahamas Securities Commission took action to freeze the assets of FTX Digital Markets and related parties and placed it into provisional liquidation.
The commission also suspended its registration and applied for the appointment of provisional liquidator of FTX Digital Markets Ltd.
Mr Bankman-Fried has already said he expects to be left with nothing after the dust settles, noting that he currently only has $100,000 in his bank account.