After FTX Collapse, Founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s Aircraft Becomes Most Tracked Flight: Report

After FTX Collapse, Founder Sam Bankman-Fried's Aircraft Becomes Most Tracked Flight: Report

FTX, the beleaguered crypto exchange, filed for bankruptcy protection in the US on Friday, with its founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried putting in his papers. The firm landed into trouble due to a liquidity crunch. The bankrupcy decision came after rival Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, pulled out of an acquisition deal on Thursday, after what it said a review of the company’s finances, reports said.

On November 12, Sam Bankman-Fried appeared to take an aircraft to Argentina and it became the most searched flight, as per flight tracking site Flightradar24. According to data provided by the site, the FTX founder’s flight had been tracked nearly 9,000 times by around 2.30 pm. 

Argentina would, however, be an unlikely destination given the country’s extradition rules. 

The website also showed that FTX founder’s flight taken off from Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas. 

The 30-year-old secretly moved $10 billion in client cash from FTX to Bankman-Fried’s firm Alameda Research. The financial gap was exposed in documents supplied by him with other top executives last Sunday, news agency Reuters reported. 

The exclusive report by Reuters said Thursday FTX’s downfall was the result of mistakes made by the Sam Bankman-Fried after he stepped in to save other crypto firms as the market collapsed amid rising interest rates. The report attributed several people close to Bankman-Fried as saying that some of those deals involving his trading firm, Alameda Research, led to a series of losses to the firm.

On Tuesday, Bankman-Fried reportedly told employees: “I’m sorry, I f****d up.”

The issue accelerated a week ago when the CEO of the major exchange, Binance, said they will liquidate their holdings of FTX’s proprietary coin FTT.

In his bankrupcy plea, FTX has asked for judicial protection, while also seeking a means to restore money to consumers, BBC reported. 

ALSO READ: Crypto Major Binance Backs Out Of Deal To Buy Rival FTX

The FTX Collapse And Bankrupcy

Customers were unable to access their assets in the majority of cases. Then there were reports of NFTs and cutouts being used to withdraw cash in the Bahamas.

Bankman-Fried stated in a tweet on Friday that he was “piecing together” what had transpired at FTX. “I was shocked to see things unravel the way they did earlier this week,” he wrote. “I will, soon, write up a more complete post on the play-by-play.”

The collapse of FTX was a dramatic setback for Bankman-Fried. The 30-year-old founded FTX in 2019 and guided it to become one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, amassing a personal wealth of about $17 billion. 

In January, FTX was valued at $32 billion by investors including SoftBank and BlackRock. The crisis has reverberated throughout the crypto industry, with major coin prices dropping. And FTX’s collapse is being compared to other catastrophic company meltdowns, Reuters reported. 

Sam Bankman-Fried founded FTX in 2019 and led it to become one of the largest exchanges. Six months after the launch, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao reportedly bought 20 per cent of the exchange for about $100 million “to grow the crypto economy together”. 

In July 2019, Bankman-Fried bought back Zhao’s stake in FTX for about $2 billion after the relations between the two billionaires soured over a licensing deal with Gibraltar. According to the Reuters report, $2 billion was paid to Binance, in part, in FTX’s own coin, FTT. Zhao on Sunday ordered Binance to sell these FTT, which in part precipitated the crisis at FTX, the report said.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

[Disclaimer: Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is subject to market risks. Readers are advised to seek expert advice and read offer document(s) along with related important literature on the subject carefully before making any kind of investment whatsoever. Cryptocurrency market predictions are speculative and any investment made shall be at the sole cost and risk of the readers.]

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