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Thursday, December 1, 2022

FTX: "Mistakes Were Made"

"SAM BANKMAN-FRIED: Thanks for having me. At the end of the day, I was C.E.O. of FTX, and that means whatever happened, why ever it happened — I had a duty. I had a duty to all of our stakeholders, to our customers, our creditors. I had a duty to our employees, to our investors and to the regulators of the world to do right by them and make sure the right things happened at the company. And clearly, I did not do a good job with that.

Clearly I made a lot of mistakes. There are things I would give anything to be able to do over again. I did not ever try to commit fraud on anyone. I was excited about the prospects of FTX a month ago. I saw it as a thriving, growing business. I was shocked by what happened this month. And reconstructing it, were there things I wish I had done differently…”
I read through the entire NY Times transcript of this interview. In the wake of this 1:13:57, I have now exceeded my Lifetime Permissible Dose of platitudinous lubricant Financial / CryptoBro JargonBabble and poignant passive-voice evasions (and, yeah, he starts out first-person, past tense, active voice, but, read/listen on). I'm now in need of neuro-chelation.
Yeah, Mistakes Were Made, son. Well...
"Experience is that which you get just AFTER you really needed it."
OK, is it too early to start drinking? Re-read the latter five sentences slowly, out loud. The utter incoherence of crypto, in 31 words (contractions count as 1 each). Y’see, you’re supposed to trust “the code,” not other people.

Ya with me there? Need I really elaborate?

"You talk about trust. Crypto ultimately is about trust. It’s about not having to trust others. It’s about a trust-free system. That’s why you’re supposed to trust it so much."

(more New Yorker)…Hastings, of Netflix, said that it was “legal cringiness” for S.B.F. to keep giving interviews: “His parents must be, like, ‘Oh, my God.’ ” (Bankman-Fried’s parents are both Stanford Law professors; he has said that “my lawyers” have advised him, futilely, to stay quiet.) “He has nothing to gain from this,” Joe Appelbaum said. “If he thinks he can keep bullshitting his way out of trouble at this point, he’s delusional.” Appelbaum is the president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. “I’m half a professional gambler, half a farmer,” he continued. “I’m pretty tech-forward, but most of the crypto stuff sounds pretty nuts to me…”


Click above.
With customers, investors and, potentially, law enforcement closing in, the fate of crypto wunderkind-turned-pariah Sam Bankman-Fried may rest on two key questions: What did he know about Alameda Research, and when did he know it?

Since the stunning, early November collapse of both Alameda, a secretive crypto hedge fund Bankman-Fried cofounded in 2017, and FTX, a crypto exchange he cofounded in 2019 and grew into one of the world’s largest, speculation has run rampant about how the two operations were intertwined and what chain of events drove both businesses into bankruptcy.

Bankman-Fried, in a series of high-profile media appearances this week, has begun offering his own working theory: Alameda took on far too much leverage to make risky investments on the FTX platform, and FTX failed to recognize and prevent it. A key claim: that Bankman-Fried himself didn’t really know what Alameda was up to…
Yeah, sure.

See related New Yorker article.
That pic cracks me up. Beginning in 2010, as an "extracurricular" part of my last job (electronic medical records systems consulting) prior to "retiring," I covered the "#HealthIT" sector as a "photojournalist" for about 8 years. Most of this stuff was in the Silicon Valley-ish Health IT startup space. I also covered national HIMSS, IHIASQ Health Care DivisionLean HC Summitsand NYeC conferences.
It commenced from a lark. I was living and working in Las Vegas for the Medicare QIO, and HIMSS had come to town for its annual conference. While surfing their website, I came upon their "apply for a Press Pass" link. I applied, citing my EHR work and blog. To my utter surprise, they granted it. I parlayed things from there.
Peyton Manning, Closing HIMSS16 Keynote Speaker. He was great.

So, yeah, I've seen a ton of ego and opaque high-tech BS along with a good bit of genuine, eventually profitable and beneficial innovation.

Gotta say, after my kids turned me on to "Silicon Valley HBO," I could hardly do it with a straight face any more.

Bitcoin miners, which already have up to $2.5 billion in loans outstanding, could find themselves in even hotter water as many have exposure to failed crypto exchange FTX and lenders such as BlockFi.

Miners’ balance sheets have been steadily deteriorating over the past few months as the price of bitcoin has slumped, killing their revenue. Meanwhile, energy prices have soared, increasing their costs. This has resulted in one of the biggest mining data center operators in the U.S., Compute North, to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, while big players such as Core Scientific (CORZ), Argo Blockchain (ARBK) and Greenidge Generation (GREE) have said they are in a liquidity crunch. The stock prices of all three publicly traded miners have plunged more than 90% this year.

Now, some of the lenders working with these already struggling bitcoin miners are in deeper trouble after getting caught up in the FTX blowup – potentially causing another major hit for the mining industry…
Again, there are no "mines." There are no "coins." There are no "tokens." There are no "wallets." There are only enticing yet fatuous metaphors. (And, "Smart Contracts" are neither.) When the radioactive crypto dust settles, all that remain are, in the main, unenforceable obligor-obligee signatures (many of them not even "wet").

The Already Struggling Bitcoin Miner

I won't hold my breath for any response.

Cat 5 Cringeworthiness. Son, you are about to Go Through Some Things.
Click here.

Diego is a dear friend of my nephew Nathan, my sister Carole's youngest. I've not met Diego (yet),  As a permanently grieving father who lost both of his daughters to cancers, I ask that you contribute any amount. 
Jeff is the husband of my niece April, Nathan's brother. He put this GoFundMe site up.

Please help us help Diego.
__________ #cryptNOcurrency

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