Who Is Sam Bankman-Fried, And Why Did He Become A Meme?

Blenda Rosen
Blenda Rosen Crypto
3 Min Read

Sam Bankman-Fried, popularly known as SBF, is an American entrepreneur who was responsible for the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, which launched in 2019. Because of his work in crypto, he quickly became a billionaire in the early 2020s and a big supporter and investor in a variety of parties and causes, including the DNC.

In November 2022, FTX and Bankman-Fried’s fortunes fell in the FTX crypto collapse amid charges of fraud and financial crimes, sparking a flood of internet conversations and memes criticizing him. During the same time, SBF’s alleged relationship with Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison became a topic of internet discussion. SBF was detained in the Bahamas in mid-December 2022.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Meme Origins

After a post by a competitor and Binance creator CZ in November 2022, public trust in FTX and Alameda Research was shattered, with many suspecting Bankman-Fried of executing a fraud involving their cryptocurrency FTT. As users attempted to withdraw their funds, the exchange encountered a liquidity issue and ran out of currency, resulting in a crash. Sam Bankman-Fried sought to soothe anxieties, but both firms filed for bankruptcy on November 11th, 2022.

Kelsey Piper states in an article published on November 16th, 2022, that SBF sent her a DM the day before, on November 15th, and they had a lengthy discussion. Piper published images of their discussion in the Vox after confirming with SBF that his account had not been hacked.

During their conversation, SBF stated that the entire fraud was an inadvertent error and that he regretted filing for bankruptcy. He drew out an alternative vision of ethics to the “game we woke westerners play,” stating that all that counts is who wins and who loses and that everything he’d previously stated about morality was “bs.”

who is sam bankman fried and why did he become a meme

The Tape and Arrest of Sam Bankman-Fried

On November 16th, 2022, a website purporting to be an FTX insider went live, claiming that they would publish a sex tape of Caroline Ellison, Sam Bankman-Fried, and other people in order to “hold them responsible.”

Sam Bankman-Fried was detained in the Bahamas on December 12th, 2022, after officials in New York State accused him of multiple felonies, including wire fraud and money laundering. The Bahamas Attorney General released a letter detailing SBF‘s arrest the same day.

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Blenda Rosen
By Blenda Rosen Financial Writer
Hi there! My name is Blenda, and I'm a Personal Finance and Markets Reporter at California/USA Today. I graduated from San Jose State University with degrees in Business Administration and International Business, and I'm a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in California. My passion is creating personal finance content that resonates with my readers. I know from experience how daunting managing personal finances can be, and I aim to provide actionable advice that people can use to improve their financial situations. Whether it's budgeting, saving, investing, or retirement planning, I'm here to help my readers make informed decisions about their money. As a financial journalist, I'm always seeking to expand my knowledge and skills in the field. I'm particularly interested in areas like venture capital, startups, fintech, payment methods, and international banking. I believe that staying up-to-date on the latest developments in the industry is crucial to providing valuable insights to my readers.
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