FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried said in an interview published Wednesday that the collapsed crypto company should not have filed for bankruptcy protection, criticizing regulators News site Vox.
Bankman Fried, known as SBF, went back later the comments, saying the direct messages he exchanged with the reporter on Twitter were not intended for public viewing.
“It sucks,” Bankman-Fried said in a Twitter thread. “I’m really sorry that things ended like this.”
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX declared bankruptcy and Bankman-Fried resigned as chief executive last week after reports that Almeda Research, a trading firm founded by Bankman-Fried, had been relying heavily on a token issued by FTX.
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FTX’s public and quick unraveling began earlier this month on the news site CoinDesk reports Almeda Research had a balance sheet full of FTT, the cryptocurrency issued by FTX.
The revelation startled customers and inventors. Rival exchange Binance said it would sell its holdings of FTX tokens and pulled out of an agreement to acquire the company.
FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11th.
In the interview, Bankman-Fried said regulators are “making things worse” and “not protecting customers at all.”
“F- regulators,” Bankman-Fried said.
He also said that his previous calls for cryptocurrency regulation were for publicity only.
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FTX bankruptcy was a ‘mistake’
Bankman-Fried said his biggest single mistake was apply for bankruptcy protection.
“If I hadn’t done that, the withdrawals would open up in a month with fully complete customers,” he said, according to screenshots of the Twitter direct messages.
Bankman-Fried said he should have tried to raise more money instead of declaring the company bankrupt. The Wall Street Journal reported that Bankman-Fried searched without success Commitments from Investors after filing for bankruptcy.
Bankman-Fried said those in charge of FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings are “trying to burn everything out of shame.”
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Bankman-Fried later retracted some of his comments in a Twitter thread, saying regulators had “an impossible task‘ and some have ‘deeply impressed him with their knowledge and thoughtfulness’.
“Some of what I said was thoughtless or overly strong — I was venting and not intending to make that public.” Bankman Fried tweeted. “I guess at this point what I write leaked anyway.”
A A Vox spokesman told Reuters that all communication with its rapporteurs is logged, unless the subject and the rapporteur have agreed otherwise.
New CEO calls FTX situation ‘unprecedented’
Following his resignation, Bankman-Fried was fired on November 11 replaced as CEO by John J. Ray IIIwho oversaw Enron’s bankruptcy.
Ray tried to distance the company from Bankman-Fried an application to the Federal Bankruptcy Court Thursday.
“The Debtors have made it clear to employees and the public that Mr. Bankman-Fried is not employed by the Debtors and does not speak for them,” Ray said. “Mr. Bankman-Fried, who is currently in the Bahamas, continues to make erratic and misleading public statements.”
He specifically quoted Bankman-Fried’s “f—regulators” comment in the court document and did not mince words when describing the situation at FTX.
“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and a complete lack of trustworthy financial information,” Ray said.
“From the compromised system integrity and flawed regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, inexperienced and potentially vulnerable individuals, this situation is unprecedented.”