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"The Devil In Nerd’s Clothes"

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"The Devil In Nerd’s Clothes"

How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Cult Of Genius Fooled Everyone


5 min read
3 take-aways
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What's inside?

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed, along with its founder’s carefully constructed persona.

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Once lauded as a master in the sphere of cryptocurrencies, Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crypto exchange FTX, now finds himself under arrest and indicted on criminal fraud charges. But just months earlier, Bankman-Fried was flying high, with investors championing his crypto acumen and his philanthropic ambitions. In this engrossing narrative of the rise and fall of FTX, journalists David Jeans and Sarah Emerson explore the labyrinth of greed, lies and fraud that Bankman-Fried built.


Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) engineered stunning results in cryptocurrency trading, only to see his empire collapse amid reckless and allegedly criminal behavior.

In late 2022, FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange, imploded and declared bankruptcy. Roughly a year earlier, the exchange had a valuation of $32 billion, and investors in the company had hailed its CEO and founder, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), as a digital-asset genius. SBF also advocated for “effective altruism,” a movement that sought to use business to address social inequities.

However, the demise of the exchange reveals that dubious claims, fraudulent activities and a “Ponzi business” misled and...

About the Authors

David Jeans and Sarah Emerson are staff reporters at Forbes.

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