SBF thought it was a good idea to start a Substack

The disgraced founder of crypto exchange FTX claims that he didn’t steal funds.

Andrew Kelly / reuters

Sam Bankman-Fried is in a world of trouble. He’s facing up to 115 years in prison if he’s convicted of federal fraud and conspiracy charges. And yet the embattled founder of collapsed crypto exchange FTX — who has pleaded not guilty and is out on a $250 million bond while awaiting trial — figured it’d be a great idea to write about his perspective on the saga in a Substack newsletter.

In his first post, which is ostensibly about the collapse of FTX International, Bankman-Fried (aka SBF) claims that “I didn’t steal funds, and I certainly didn’t stash billions away.” SBF notes that FTX US (which serves customers in America) “remains fully solvent and should be able to return all customers’ funds.” He added that FTX International still has billions of dollars in assets and that he is “dedicating nearly all of my personal assets to customers.” SBF, who once had a net worth of approximately $26.5 billion, said at the end of November that he had $100,000 in his bank account, though he pledged to give almost all of his personal shares in Robinhood to customers.

The post covers much of the same ground that SBF has gone over in the myriad interviews he gave between FTX's collapse in November and his arrest last month. He discusses the multiple crypto market crashes in 2022 and a tweet from Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao that sparked a run on FTX’s FTT token and prompted the implosion of his exchange. SBF also writes about how he was pressured to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for FTX. Meanwhile, he notes that many of the numbers he cites in the post are approximations, since he has been locked out of FTX's systems by those overseeing its bankruptcy proceedings.

What's more interesting is what SBF doesn't address. He does not mention the fact that FTX co-founder Zixiao "Gary" Wang and former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison pleaded guilty to fraud charges and are cooperating with prosecutors.

SBF has continued to give interviews and tweet about the situation while he's out on bail. That's despite the complaint filed against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission citing his tweets and comments he made in an interview in early December. Perhaps this whole Substack thing will turn out to be a mistake too.