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Sam Bankman-Fried’s ‘Emperor’ Aura Makes Downfall a Crypto Stunner

  • FTX.com was seen as a crypto industry leader and backstop
  • Some shocked investors found out about the bailout on Twitter
Sam Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-FriedPhotographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

Sam Bankman-Fried was supposed to be different than the run-of-the-mill crypto types. He was this wunderkind, a 30-year-old with a preternatural gift for math who had quickly built a crypto empire and then shrewdly expanded it during the worst of the industry’s meltdown this summer. 

So the sudden collapse of his crown jewel -- the crypto exchange FTX.com, which now needs a bailout from its chief rival, Binance Holdings -- has left crypto investors in stunned disbelief.