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How SBF’s trial exposes the dark underbelly of the crypto world

In this post:

  • The trial of crypto magnate Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) reveals hidden issues in the crypto industry.
  • Financial author Michael Lewis released a book on FTX’s rise and fall, coinciding with SBF’s trial.
  • Lewis controversially portrayed FTX as a genuine business despite its $8bn loss.

The recent buzz surrounding the trial of crypto criminal Sam Bankman-Fried, commonly known as SBF, serves as a magnifying glass, revealing the concealed corners of the crypto industry.

But this isn’t just about one man or one company. This trial pulls back the curtain on a world that, for too long, has managed to enchant some while leaving others questioning its very foundation.

A Controversial Narrative

Michael Lewis, the well-known financial author, launched a book detailing the ascent and subsequent plummet of FTX, a crypto exchange founded by SBF.

Interestingly, the book’s release was deliberately aligned with the onset of SBF’s trial, creating a media whirlwind. Lewis’s narrative, which many encountered through a controversial CBS’s 60 Minutes interview snippet, was eyebrow-raising, to say the least.

His viewpoint? The crypto exchange FTX was a legitimate, flourishing business. One that, despite its catastrophic $8bn loss, was not a scam.

This, despite the fact that FTX shockingly held a mere 10% of its liabilities in liquid assets a day before it spiraled into bankruptcy. Most would question labeling such a business, which wasn’t even operating like a sanctioned bank, as “successful”.

The Misplaced Faith in Crypto

The rapidity with which FTX’s reputation switched from a commendable establishment to a suspect operation seems less astonishing when you consider the vast sum of customer money that vanished.

Yet, Lewis’s apparent faith in not just SBF but the overarching promise of cryptocurrency has many baffled. In his own words, he believes the crypto paradigm is a superior alternative to the existing financial system. Such a belief raises the question: On what basis?

Cryptocurrency is notorious for its high-risk, high-reward game. Advocates see it as a revolutionary financial frontier, while critics like me perceive it as an arena where one person’s gain is another’s misfortune.

To suggest that crypto enterprises, like FTX, are better than our long-standing financial system is to trivialize the intricate mechanics that stabilize our economy. It’s akin to valuing a structure based solely on its glitzy facade, disregarding the foundational cracks.

Unraveling Financial Illusions

The origins of such a skewed perspective aren’t random. According to Martin Walker, director at the Center of Evidence-Based Management, a growing sentiment from the 1990s began preaching that the free market could do no wrong.

This notion then evolved into an even more hazardous belief: that our financial system, irrespective of its glaring flaws, was infallible. It’s not entirely surprising then that Lewis, having covered countless financial antics throughout his career, might have grown jaded.

The realm of finance can indeed resemble a casino at times, where new “innovations” are mere strategies to dodge regulations until the long arm of the law finally catches up.

As for SBF, a product of a generation molded by the global financial crisis, his trajectory appears emblematic of a breed of financial cynicism. A mindset where real-world consequences seem inconsequential.

This is the environment from which cryptocurrency emerged – a realm where parody coins can achieve staggering valuations and pixelated digital assets fetch millions.

The digital currency domain feels eerily reminiscent of a Monopoly game, with one key difference: In this virtual realm, numbers on a screen can mean both everything and nothing.

As the SBF trial unfolds, one can’t help but wonder: If $8bn can vanish without a trace, what does the essence of value even signify in this crypto dimension?

The bottomline is SBF’s trial isn’t just about the man or his business. It serves as a stark reminder of the volatile and often murky waters of the crypto world.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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