Will The FTX Empire Strike Back? The SBF Trial Begins

  • Posted: 03.10.23

The crypto market is NEVER quiet.

This week, it might be a bit more volatile than normal.

So what’s happening with the SBF trial, and what can we expect to see this week?

The Story So Far

If you’re reading this story on a website dedicated to crypto recruitment, the odds are good you already know the basics. Sam Bankman-Fried was a darling of the crypto world. His FTX exchange was the largest in the US for a time; in 2021, it surpassed $800 million in average daily trading volume.

But in 2022, the wheels came off the bus.

FTX collapsed. A hacker stole $600 million in the aftermath. SBF went to jail.

And as time went on, the malaise spread. The crypto market went from $3 trillion total market cap to $1 million, and some sectors of the market, like NFTs, simply haven’t recovered.

This week, SBF stands trial in Manhattan, and the limelight will once again be on him and his story.

What will it mean for the broader crypto market? Three things to look for:

Solana Volatility

As an exchange, FTX held a lot of crypto – straightforward, right? But in the aftermath of FTX’s collapse, a lot of those assets were frozen.

Now, with the trial nearly underway, law enforcement agents will need to determine the fate of those funds. That has sparked a surge of interest in Solana on the open market, leading to a pump in SOL’s price.

Will that continue throughout the whole trial? It’s hard to tell; SOL was already rebounding from a dismal start to the year. But it’s worth keeping an eye on APTOS, Tether, and XRP – other holdings of over $100 million that are scheduled to be liquidated from FTX’s holdings. 

Money On The Move

Remember the hack we mentioned earlier?

Immediately after FTX filed for bankruptcy, someone stole $600 million from the exchange’s holdings. Then the assets sat, in various accounts, for nine months.

Just this week, they started to move

Assets including BTC and ETH have been shuffled to various addresses, swapped, and sold. But vast amounts of the funds haven’t moved. Will the trial shed light on the hacker’s identity? It’s something to watch. 

Major Decisions For The Crypto Market

At the very least, the trial is going to shine a light on one of crypto’s more unpleasant episodes. SBF was an absolute rock-star in the industry, and his philanthropic efforts and investment into other crypto companies meant that when FTX fell, it burned a lot of goodwill

“The people of crypto have a tendency to put ‘idols’ on a pedestal, this has to stop. From Do Kwon to Mashinsky… Sifu to SBF. Often those that preach virtue the most are those that fail our expectations the worst. When it comes to people’s characters in crypto, I want the community to not trust, but verify. Most people in the space are good actors and mean well, we cannot let a few bad apples contaminate the industry anymore.”

– Shaun, Co-Founder of Plexus Resource Solutions

In the meantime, will the trial make things worse? Will it cement SBF’s reputation as a fraud? Will it end up supporting the SEC’s contention that much of crypto is still a wild, wild west, filled with unsavoury characters?

Is there any chance that SBF will come out clean?

We’ll have to wait and see. Keep an eye on your SOL, if you’ve got any, and remember – with any leading crypto figures, verify, verify, verify.