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Episode 1: The Hype

The Naked Emperor

13-03-2023 • 33 mins

Sam Bankman-Fried wasn't like other crypto moguls: he drove a Toyota Corolla, he was an advocate for government regulation, he said he would give billions away to charity. That is, until he lost it all in what has been called “one of history’s greatest-ever destructions of wealth.” Sam Bankman-Fried, aka SBF, had an empire. His cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, and hedge fund, Alameda Research, together were worth billions. Celebrities sang his praises, and politicians took his donations. Then, it all collapsed – almost overnight. There were millions of FTX customers. Now, they don’t know where their money is. Host Jacob Silverman, co-author of a forthcoming book about crypto and fraud, takes a closer look at the hype around SBF and FTX, and how it only grew, even as other crypto companies crashed around them. How powerful was Sam Bankman-Fried? And how did he initially manage to hang on, to thrive even, as other giants tumbled towards bankruptcy?