FTX Prosecution

I have never been fond of cryptocurrency. I don’t see the use, except perhaps for illegal transactions. I used to say it has all the disadvantages of cash combined with all the disadvantages of a credit card.

There have also been a number of cases of people losing their cryptocurrency in various ways, beginning, perhaps with Mt Gox debacle almost a decade ago. Something as inherently insecure and untraceable all but invites these problems. I hesitate to call them crimes, because they really leave no evidence behind and even actual ownership isn’t clear. I’m not aware of any significant law enforcement success in recouping cryptocurrencies that (allegedly) have gone missing. It’s an feature, not a bug.

Recently the FTX exchange (shades of Mt Gox) has had assets allegedly go missing. Prosecution seems swift but as inconclusive as ever. I can’t help but wonder if Mr Brinkman-Fried made the mistake of taking money from the Wrong People. Like Bernie Madoff, the only person I can recall convicted for the debacle of the 2008 financial crisis, he may have made the mistake of stealing from the rich and powerful.

From New York Times Dealbook.

The indictment of S.B.F. is unusually vague for a financial fraud of this kind, legal experts told DealBook. That suggests prosecutors are still looking for others with inside knowledge of the operation to explain what happened. “The very sweeping charges show they have confidence in their case, but there is no smoking gun in the indictment,” said Renato Mariotti, a partner at Bryan Cave who prosecuted securities and commodities fraud at the Justice Department.

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