Bahamas Official Gets Defensive As FTX Investors Ask About SBF

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, from May 2022 (left), and Bahamas Attorney General L. Ryan Pinder, in a file photo on a Facebook video stream Sunday night (right).

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, from May 2022 (left), and Bahamas Attorney General L. Ryan Pinder, in a file photo on a Facebook video stream Sunday night (right).
Image: Screenshot from Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call / Facebook

Bahamas Attorney General L. Ryan Pinder released a video statement Sunday night about the investigation into FTX, a Bahamas-based cryptocurrency platform that took billions of dollars with it before it imploded earlier this month. And at least one thing is clear: Pinder thinks the investors in FTX are not doing their job in the Bahamas.

Pinder defended himself in a new video, insisting that Bahamian rule of law is strong and that other countries have seen crypto companies fail spectacularly recently (he’s not wrong there). But Pinder did not put his finger on what might have happened to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, known as SBF, who is said to still be living on the island nation.

“The Bahamas makes the law. The rule of law and the exercise of due process characterize the integrity of our jurisdiction,” Pinder said as he opened his 23-minute video. Facebook. FTX filed for bankruptcy in Delaware court two weeks ago. Bahamian regulators objected to the filing, arguing that FTX was not legally permitted to file for bankruptcy in the United States and that at least part of the company’s reorganization was within their jurisdiction.

The Bahamas is famous as a tax haven for the ultra-wealthy from around the world, and has been actively courting crypto companies in recent years to set up shop in the former British colony.

Many in the crypto world are wondering why Sam Bankman-Fried is still living as a free man in the Bahamas. Bankman-Fried reportedly used customer deposits from FTX to make risky investments through hedge fund Alameda Research, losing billions of dollars in the process. Bankman-Fried has more or less admitted his behavior in media interviews and tweets, questions about the exact amounts and where all that money went remain unanswered.

Pinder noted during the video stream that Alameda Research is not regulated in the Bahamas, unlike FTX, which is registered to do business there. Pinder also praised the Bahamas Securities Commission for moving “quickly” to suspend FTX’s business license and appoint liquidators to the company, which was recently valued at $32 billion.

“The Commission is the first regulator in the world to take significant action against the FTX group of companies,” Pinder said, referring to the seizure of cryptocurrencies held by FTX.

But Pinder said the “basic facts” of the case were “obscured by guessing games and rumours”. Pinder continued to insist that his office’s “very complex” investigation into the FTX was “in its early stages.”

“We understand the great interest in this story, but as a government we immediately decided that the most important thing is not to engage in speculation or gossip, but instead to act methodically and deliberately according to due process and regulations. law,” Pinder said.

Pinder characterized the cryptocurrency industry as simply a new frontier that had to face challenges in its early years. But with billions of very real dollars missing, it’s hard to find much traction among FTX depositors who think they’re investing in a safe platform. FTX even received TV ads during the Super Bowl featuring Larry David, leading more people to believe the company was a safe place to keep their money. David and other celebrities like Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen was brought to court For his involvement in the company’s marketing before the Thanksgiving holiday.

“There are still no globally agreed standards,” Pinder said of the cryptocurrency industry. “Regulators around the world are still grappling with how to regulate digital assets.”

Pinder has repeatedly said that the FTX operates in many other jurisdictions, and has tried to suggest that other governments around the world should take care of everything before the FTX goes bankrupt, despite his country’s filing for bankruptcy authority.

“Any attempt to place this disaster entirely at the feet of the Bahamas, as the FTX is headquartered here, would be an oversimplification of reality,” Pinder said. he said.

In fact, Pinder spent the vast majority of his time Sunday night insisting that the Bahamas is a reputable place to do business with a strong legal framework for dealing with bad actors. But it all sounded like someone insisting how honest they were when you didn’t really ask. Honest people generally don’t spend all day insisting that they never tell a lie.

“We are shocked at the ignorance of those who claim that FTX is coming to the Bahamas because they do not want to undergo regulatory inspection. In fact, the world is full of countries where there is no legislative regulatory body for crypto and digital assets business,” Pinder openly worked.

Attorney General Pinder may also be wearing a t-shirt that says “Bahamas is not involved in crypto-currency laundering,” which is already raising questions. he replied with his shirt.

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