The man who lost £27bn in a week! And may take cryptocurrency down with him, writes TOM LEONARD
, 2022-11-16 16:02:01,
When a Gulfstream G450 private jet took off from the Bahamas capital of Nassau, bound for Argentina late last week, it briefly became the most heavily tracked plane in the aviation world.
For many were convinced it belonged to ‘Crypto King’ Sam Bankman-Fried and was whisking him off — like a fugitive from justice — to a new life in South America.
The digital currency tycoon in question later denied it was his plane, although he hasn’t yet addressed another rumour: that he and two colleagues were stopped on the tarmac at Nassau Airport as they tried to take the plane to Dubai, a country with no extradition treaty with the U.S.
Such melodrama is the stuff of a Hollywood thriller, but entirely understandable given that 30-year-old Bankman-Fried, who until very recently was hailed as the billionaire golden boy of the cryptocurrency world, is now accused of being at the centre of one of the most stunning financial frauds in history.
The catastrophic unravelling of FTX, a cryptocurrency business founded three years ago by Bankman-Fried that went from being valued at $32 billion to virtually nothing in just a few days, is a business tragedy for the ages.
And it’s certainly one for this particular age, involving as it does the deeply shady world of cryptocurrencies, a woke bunch of bed-hopping, digital whizz-kids holed up in luxury in a Caribbean tax haven, and an endless parade of grasping A-list dupes who fell for their hype.
Glamour: Sam Bankman-Fried — aka…
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