Latest Episode of FTX; If the CEO is Guilty, the CTO is Guilty Too
An anonymous thinker once said “You cannot escape power. You can either ignore it, or understand it.”
And going by the rapid, jaw-dropping revelations from the biggest case in crypto right now, the FTX fiasco can neither be escaped nor ignored. But we can try to understand it.
Crypto Apex has learned that Gary Wang has admitted guilt for committing fraud in the FTX scandal. But you may be genuinely surprised as to who this new Gary guy is. Wasn’t Sam Bankman-Fried the sole mastermind of one of crypto’s biggest scams?
Present but in Bankman-Fried’s Shadow,
Well, SBF wasn’t the sole mastermind. It takes two to tango, and anything great, whether right or wrong, always requires a team to execute. Bankman-Fried was a flamboyant CEO who casted a shadow so big no one else could shine under it, including his FTX co-founder.
So yes, once Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas and his larger-than-life persona shrunk a bit, there was enough stage room for FTX co-founder Wang to come to the fore and play his violin too.
Co-Founder Wang, The Master Coder
A former computer science and mathematics graduate from MIT, Gary Wang is the typical silent, mysterious genius who rules the world from his bedroom. As multiple people confide, Gary Wang was actually the brains behind the technical FTX motor.
That is because Wang is an exemplary coder and engineer whose skills are unparalleled. To put it simply, Wang was the Chief Technology Officer because he was by far better than SBF who himself admitted that “I don’t code. I’m trash. I have not written any of FTX’s code base.”
So where is Gary Wang right now? Well, at the time of Sam Bankman-Fried’s arrest andextradition, Gary Wang was in the Bahamas. Together with SBF and a host of other FTX employees, they used to live in a house from where they were running the FTX empire.
A Mentor and Mentee, All Embattled and Guilty
Since Gary was part of the FTX “kitchen cabinet,” it is strongly believed he had full information regarding the going-ons at FTX and Alameda. Some even argue Gary was significantly responsible as he possessed the technical expertise to use software to cover up the scheme.
Another key person of interest in the FTX case is Nishad Singh. The director of engineering and leader of the philanthropic arm of FTX, Nishad Singh is said to be a Wang mentee who was also at the center of the “tightly-knit” team that was at the core of FTX’s operations.
Like his mentor, Nishad Singh has lately kept a very low-profile since the FTX implosion. Not much about Singh’s thoughts or whereabouts are known except for what SBF said that “Nishad is ashamed and guilty.”
Charges for everyone involved
In the spirit of the pie being shared equally by everyone at the dinner table, the CEO of Alameda Research Caroline Ellison has also pled guilty to the fraud charges that dog both Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang.
It is alleged that similar to Gary Wang and Nishad Singh, Caroline Ellison was fully aware SBF was redirecting money from FTX to Alameda, effectively making her complicit to the “multiyear scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX” as the SEC described it.
To beef up her legal defense, Ellison hired Stephen Avakian, a former officer at the Securities and Exchange Commission, as her lawyer. It remains to be seen what new revelations come to light. But why? Because the FTX fiasco is a movie, albeit a tragic one, that just keeps on giving.