Citizen journalist Tiffany Fong published Sam Bankman-Fried’s first interview since FTX’s bankruptcy on YouTube on November 29.
On November 16, the former CEO addressed a number of allegations leveled against him since the bankruptcy, as well as the state of FTX US clients.
He also discussed FTT, the exchange’s native token, which he believes has more intrinsic value than most other cryptocurrencies.
Wong started by questioning SBF about previous claims that the CEO tampered with the FTX’s financial records by using a “backdoor” that allowed him to execute commands without alerting others.
Reuters repeated this claim several times in the days following FTX’s insolvency, adding that the backdoor was used to transfer customer funds to FTX’s sister trading desk, Alameda Research.
“I certainly wasn’t building some backdoor in the system,” answered SBF during the call, adding, “I don’t know exactly what they’re referring to.”
Reuters reported on November 15th that the backdoor was created by Gary Wang, FTX’s head of engineering. The movement of funds was allegedly known only to Wang, SBF, and his inner circle.
SBF stated that he does not believe the FTT exchange’s token is worthless.
FTT began November at more than $20 but is now trading for only $1.31 at the time of writing. When Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao threatened to sell $500 million worth of the token on the open market, its price quickly plummeted.
SBF denied claims that the token failed due to margin calls at Alameda and FTX (for which FTT was used as collateral) or because the asset was illiquid.
Instead, he claimed that it was simply a loss of faith in the exchange that resulted in a massive selloff that drove the price down.
Following this, SBF concluded,
“This was the reaction to news coming out specifically surrounding FTX and Alameda, and their solvency.”
Concerns about Alameda and FTX’s solvency arose after CoinDesk published Alameda’s balance sheet on November 2. The sheet revealed that Alameda was overexposed to FTT, with half of the tokens in circulation.