Only a few months ago, Sam Bankman-Fried was the hero of the crypto world. The cherub-faced, curly-topped 30-year-old billionaire was portrayed as the one true believer when all around him were starting to lose their nerve.
As the price of bitcoin and other digital tokens plunged in the spring and early summer, Bankman-Fried — better known by his initials, SBF — stepped in to calm things down, buying large stakes in a pair of troubled crypto lenders, BlockFi and Voyager Digital.
SBF, once dubbed the “the John Pierpont Morgan of millennials”, had both clout and credibility. After all, a bevy of blue-chip investors from BlackRock to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan had queued up to buy into FTX, his Bahamas-based business, to value it at