Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, said at Wednesday’s DealBook summit that the firm’s downfall was due to “a failure in my oversight.”
“Whatever happens and why it happens, I have a responsibility to our stakeholders, our customers, our investors, regulators around the world to do the right thing,” he told Andrew via video from the Bahamas Ross Sorkin. “Obviously, I’m not doing a good job at this. I’m never trying to defraud anyone.”
“I am deeply sorry for what happened,” Mr. Bankman-Fried added, while fidgeting, taking an occasional sip from a can of La Croix soda.
Mounting losses at Alameda Research, an FTX sister company he also controls, has left the trading house with a large margin position in FTX — essentially meaning the cryptocurrency exchange has lent Alameda large sums of money, he said.
He took pains not to mention former Alameda Research chief executive Caroline Ellison by name.
“I didn’t manage Alameda, and I didn’t know what the hell was going on,” he said. “I’m nervous because of a conflict of interest or getting too involved.”
“I didn’t mix the funds on purpose,” he added.