The Week in Crypto – SBF, Blockfi, and Brazil

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This week in crypto we’ve seen Sam Bankman-Fried applauded off after an interview, Brazil adopting Bitcoin for payments, and Blockfi going bust.

No. 3 – SBF Applauded After Surreal Interview

One element of the FTX saga that has been the most glaring is the way that the disgraced founder and former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been treated by the mainstream media. Bankman-Fried has been treated as a well intentioned child who lost his way, when in fact he was complicit in manipulating, and losing, billions of dollars in user funds.

In an interview this week with Andrew Sorkin, which had been in the works for some time, Bankman-Fried laid the blame of FTX’s implosion on poor oversight and client losses, but denied he had knowingly committed fraud. At the end of the interview, Bankman-Fried was even applauded by the audience.

No. 2 – Brazil Allows Crypto Payments

Brazil has legalized the use of cryptocurrencies for payments, marking another step in the adoption of the sector, although it doesn’t stretch as far as adopting any as legal tender. 

Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies this week approved Bill 2303/15, a regulatory framework legalizing the use of cryptocurrencies as means of payment in the country, not long after its neighbor Argentina was touted as the South American country most likely to go big on crypto.

No.1 – Blockfi Goes Bankrupt

This week’s biggest crypto story of the week saw lending platform Blockfi do what everyone knew was coming and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing has revealed all sorts of nuggets of information about the firm, including that its liabilities stretch into the billions while its cash reserves amount to just over $250 million.

On the same day, Blockfi sued Emergent Fidelity Technologies, the investment vehicle owned by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, over Alameda Research, FTX’s trading arm, defaulting on $680 million of collateralized loans in early November. Blockfi wants the 56 million Robinhood shares that Emergent bought in February this year, which today is valued at $539.92 million, as a partial payment for the defaulted loan.