Nov 17 (Reuters) – The founder of collapsed crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, said he regretted the decision to file for bankruptcy and in an interview published by Vox criticized regulators.
Bankman-Fried later said on Twitter that the basis of the interview, an exchange of messages on the same platform, was not meant to be public.
The collapsed company, which filed for bankruptcy last week, has appointed five new independent directors at each of its main affiliates, including Alameda research. The five new directors and newly appointed CEO John J. Ray are working to navigate through the bankruptcy process.
In the interview, Bankman-Fried said that those responsible for FTX’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy process were “trying to burn everything to the ground in shame” and that he had two weeks to raise $8 billion and save the company.
“That’s basically all that matters (getting the money) for the rest of my life,” he said.
His single biggest mistake had been “Chapter 11. If I hadn’t done it, withdrawals would have opened in a month with customers completely healed.”
Regulators make everything worse, he added. “They are not protecting the customers at all,” he said.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Ray said Bankman-Fried had no ongoing role in FTX, FTX US or Alameda Research and was not speaking on their behalf.
FTX has said it is in contact with dozens of global regulators, including the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
After Vox published the interview, Bankman-Fried said that some of what he had said had been “thoughtless or excessively strong” and that he was speaking about something that was not meant to be public.
“It’s *really* hard to be a regulator. They have an impossible job: to regulate entire industries that grow faster than their mandate allows,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that the exchange with Vox’s reporter was “not meant to be public.”
A Vox spokesperson said all communications with Vox reporters were on the record unless the subject and the reporter had agreed otherwise.
“Our reporter is clearly identified as such in her Twitter bio, has previously interviewed Mr. Bankman-Fried, and in this case, as an added courtesy, notified him by email that she planned to write about their on-the- record exchange. He made no objections in his reply prior to publication.”
Bankman-Fried did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for further comment.
Reporting by Shubham Kalia and Jahnavi Nidumolu in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Jaiveer Shekhawat; Editing by Bradley Perrett
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