Representatives of the crypto industry also accused the newspaper of trying to whitewash Sam Bankman-Fried’s reputation

​Elon Musk calls the interview of the ex-CEO of FTX with the New York Times a puff piece

15.11.2022 - 11:00

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3 min

What’s new? On November 14, the New York Times published an interview with Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX. In it, the entrepreneur agreed with the criticism of the crypto community about the rapid expansion of FTX Group’s activities by financing deals and the purchase of other projects. Bankman-Fried added that this did not allow him to track down the problems faced by the exchange in time. Commenting on this interview on Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk asked the editorial board why it publishes “the puff piece.” Many representatives of the crypto industry also agreed with this assessment of the material, pointing out the lack of sharp questions and details on the treatment of user funds.

Who else criticized the piece? The head of the crypto exchange Kraken, Jesse Powell, said that users’ trust in FTX was largely based on the media support for the exchange, which even now downplay the significance of its bankruptcy. He added:

“The MSM needs to take accountability for its role in contributing to the legitimization and high status of this insolvent ponzi.”

Zooko Wilcox, the developer of the anonymous cryptocurrency Zcash, believes that the NYT, as an influential newspaper, by publishing a whitewashing article, is helping Bankman-Fried delay or avoid a trial altogether. He stressed that the FTX founder by fraud and theft “has ruined countless people’s lives.”

Bloom Institute of Technology CEO Austen Allred pointed out that the NYT had previously used much harsher rhetoric when describing the downsizing of crypto exchange Coinbase. Bankman-Fried’s interview, meanwhile, was more complimentary, though his case involved the disappearance of about $10 billion of customers.

On November 12, Elon Musk also revealed that he had previously communicated with Bankman-Fried about the deal to buy Twitter. The billionaire noted that FTX’s founder had left an extremely negative impression of himself, and he decided not to continue the partnership. Musk added: “he does not have capital, and he will not come through. That was my prediction.”

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