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Sam Bankman-Fried’s downfall sends shockwaves through crypto

NEW YORK (AP) — Sam Bankman-Fried received numerous acclaim as he quickly rose to superstar status as head of cryptocurrency exchange FTX: the savior of crypto, the newest force in Democratic politics and possibly the world’s first trillionaire.

Now, comments aren’t so friendly about the 30-year-old Bankman-Fried after FTX filed for bankruptcy on Friday, causing its investors and customers to feel betrayed and many others in the crypto world fearing the repercussions. Bankman-Fried himself could face civil or criminal penalties.

“Sam, what have you done?” tweeted Sean Ryan Evans, host of cryptocurrency podcast Bankless, after the bankruptcy filing.

Under Bankman-Fried, FTX quickly grew to become the third largest exchange by volume. The stunning collapse of this nascent empire has sent tsunami-like waves through the cryptocurrency industry, which has seen a lot of volatility and turmoil this year, including a sharp drop in the price of bitcoin and other digital assets. For some, the events are reminiscent of the domino-like failures of Wall Street companies during the 2008 financial crisis, especially now that supposedly healthy companies like FTX are failing.

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