By Dante Bosnic
As the Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX saga continues, more and more details are coming out regarding the once-famed cryptocurrency giant. According to Protos, Alameda Research purchased HiveEx, an Australian over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk, in 2020 and immediately appointed Bankman-Fried as Director. Fred Schebesta, one of the HiveEx’s founders, also purchased a stake in a local bank, Australian Goldfields Money, in 2018 and announced his intention to launch Australia’s first crypto bank. After Schebesta purchased this stake and before Alameda Research’s acquisition, HiveEx had advertised its ability to get other crypto companies’ banking, even those crypto companies that other banks had repeatedly rejected.
Along with having an impact in Australia, the Financial Times (FT) has reported on FTX-integrated OTC desk Genesis Block which allowed Hong Kong residents to exchange their cash for crypto-currency or vice-versa. A former employee of Genesis detailed to FT that the company had people lining up in the streets with bags of cash to exchange for cryptocurrency. Both HiveEx and Genesis Block seem to serve as important on/off-ramps for FTX and Alameda Research, partly thanks to their connections to the banking system. Along with acquiring banks in Australia and Hong Kong, DAAG Trading DMCC, based out of the United Arab Emirates, was also included in FTX’s bankruptcy.
In addition to news regarding FTX’s acquisitions, more information has also come to light regarding FTX’s charitable contributions. According to Time, leaders of the Effective Altruism (EA) movement were repeatedly warned beginning in 2018 that Sam Bankman-Fried was unethical, duplicitous, and negligent in his role as CEO of Alameda Research. They apparently dismissed those warnings, sources say, before taking tens of millions of dollars from Bankman-Fried’s charitable fund for effective altruist causes. After FTX’s collapse, William MacCaskill, the Oxford moral philosopher and intellectual figurehead of EA, whose movement is set out to help the global poor, tweeted, “I don’t know which emotion is stronger: my utter rage at Sam (and others?) for causing such harm to so many people, or my sadness and self-hatred for falling for this deception” Additionally, MacAskill declined to answer a list of detailed questions from TIME stating, “An independent investigation has been commissioned to look into these issues; I don’t want to front-run or undermine that process by discussing my own recollections publicly, I look forward to the results of the investigation and hope to be able to respond more fully after then.” Furthermore, one person connected to MacAskill stated, “If [Bankman-Fried] wasn’t super wealthy, nobody would have given him another chance.” While there are still many messy details regarding how many warnings MacAskill and the EA leaders received, it is clear Bankman-Fried’s wealth allowed him to repeat the same mistakes that likely led to FTX’s downfall.
As more and more profiles come out weekly regarding Bankman-Fried and FTX, his court battle has continued on as well. In early March, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers reportedly argued that it might be necessary to delay Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial scheduled for October 2. In a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, the 31-year-old former billionaire’s lawyers said federal prosecutors in Manhattan had not yet turned over evidence collected from electronic devices belonging to Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, previously two of their client’s closest associates. “While we are not making such an application at this time, we wanted to note this issue for the Court now,” Christian Everdell, one of Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, wrote in the letter. Along with handling this request, Judge Lewis Kaplan has also questioned Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions. According to CNN, Kaplan said he’s still not convinced that the founder of bankrupt crypto trading platform FTX couldn’t circumvent the more-restrictive bail conditions filed last week. Bankman-Fried, who did not attend the hearing, is currently under house arrest at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California. Kaplan expressed concerns over handling the possibility of Bankman-Fried using other people’s devices if they’re brought into his California residence and said Bankman-Fried could use a flip phone to call someone to express what he would otherwise send in an email or text. Kaplan also said he would sign an order modifying the conditions to allow Bankman-Fried access to an FTX database to prepare for trial, but that order also needed further restrictions.
As the saga continues, it only looks like it’s getting worse for Bankman-Fried. It will be interesting to see what else surfaces as he approaches his trial in October.
 Protos Staff, HiveEx, Genesis Block, and SBF’s trading desk network, Protos (Mar. 13, 2023), https://protos.com/hiveex-genesis-block-and-sbfs-trading-desk-network/.
 Protos Staff, supra note 1.
 Charlotte Alter, Exclusive: Effective Altruist Leaders Were Repeatedly Warned About Sam Bankman-Fried Years Before FTX Collapsed, Time (Mar. 15, 2023), https://time.com/6262810/sam-bankman-fried-effective-altruism-alameda-ftx/.
Charlotte Alter, supra note 8; Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The Reluctant Prophet of Altruism, The New Yorker (Aug. 8, 2022), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/08/15/the-reluctant-prophet-of-effective-altruism.
 Charlotte Alter, supra note 8.
 See id.
 See Luc Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers say October trial may need to be delayed, Reuters (Mar. 9, 2023), https://www.reuters.com/legal/bankman-frieds-lawyers-say-october-trial-may-need-be-delayed-2023-03-09/.
 See Lauren del Valle, Judge concerned Sam Bankman-Fried is too ‘technologically savvy,’ could find a way around tech restrictions, Cnn Business (Mar. 10, 2023), https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/10/business/sam-bankman-fried-bail-technology-restrictions/index.html.
Image source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/10/business/sam-bankman-fried-bail-technology-restrictions/index.html