FTX’s Weird Office

Sam Bankman-Fried sleeps in an office with only a few employees. Image: SBF.

According to a report by The BlockFTX spent 74 million USD to buy properties this year in the Bahamas, the country where the company is headquartered. The document was published at a sensitive time that angered the community. Billions of users’ dollars are still stuck on the exchange after the platform filed for bankruptcy.

Once valued at approx 40 billion USD, this company operates with a strange model. All close associates live in a large villa, which is also a workplace. The 1,110-square-foot penthouse is home to the headquarters of FTX and its related companies, all influenced by Sam Bankman-Fried.

Luxury penthouse, eat and sleep at work

Alameda Research Investment Fund was established in 2017, by Sam Bankman-Fried. Initially, the model profited by eating the difference between Bitcoin prices in the US and Japan. They then act as a venture capital fund in the crypto space.

By 2019, the FTX exchange was founded by Sam, becoming one of the world’s most popular trading platforms in the blockchain field. Since then, Sam Bankman-Fried has become a young self-made billionaire and has lived in an expensive building with a group of associates.

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The top floor of the penthouse Sam Bankman-Fried and associates lived in before bankruptcy. Image: Seaside.

News.Bitcoin said the villa related to FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried has just been sold for nearly 40 million USD. Real estate named “Orchid Building” is located on a 600-acre resort campus in the Bahamas.

“Designed by renowned Architect Morris Ajmi, the building overlooks Albany Marina and the Atlantic Ocean. The apartment has 4 bedrooms with separate toilet and beautiful living, dining, swimming pool area. Private elevator and security code for owners and garage only,” the property’s listing page describes.

The penthouse has a unique architecture and many luxurious amenities. However, the life of Sam Bankman-Fried and his associates was once described as “simple”.

“The FTX boss looked sloppy as usual, sitting on a gaming chair in brown pants and a gray T-shirt, with the company logo on it. Outside the camera’s range, signs of someone living in the office appeared. Crumpled US and Hong Kong bills with lip balm, sea salt, snacks all around, along with the half-eaten plate of chickpeas he ate at lunch the day before. The styrofoam lazy chair he used to sleep in was so close that it only took one roll.” Bloomberg described in the article in April.

When asked about the US market, Sam had just opened the Storybook Brawl game on the computer. The owner of the FTX exchange just answered the question of Bloombergjust continuously hit in the game.

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Sam Bankman-Fried sits at the company’s headquarters, in his everyday work attire: sneakers, shorts, and a t-shirt. Image: Bloomberg.

Sam’s colleagues describe him as a typical software engineer, working hard with six screens turned on and rarely showering. Before that, the above statement Bloomberg, FTX said it plans to build a headquarters with sea views that can accommodate 1,000 employees.

Next to the building that has just been put up for sale, The Block revealed that FTX spent more than 74 million USD to buy real estate in the Bahamas. In there, 67.4 million USD used to buy homes in the Albany Bahamas. In addition, Sam Bankman-Fried also owns an apartment at One Cable Beach for about 2 million USD.

Many other properties in Miami (USA), Tokyo (Japan) were also revealed. At the same time, documents show that FTX or Sam Bankman-Fried bought this property instead of renting it to live and work as an office.

Strange collaborators

Since before the disaster happened to FTX, their operation was evaluated very strangely with a scale of tens of billions of dollars. The business is like a family company with former colleagues, Sam Bankman-Fried’s college best friend. They live together, work together in the penthouse mentioned above.

When Sam began “rescuing” crypto companies facing bankruptcy in the middle of this year, he did not share with his close colleagues. The owner of FTX refused to hire more employees when the work gradually became overloaded.

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Rare image of FTX headquarters, taken at the conference in April. Photo: NYT.

Despite the billions of dollars that the company is holding from users and investors, FTX has no outside shareholders on the board, according to The New York Times. Another source also revealed that the people of this group are also in a relationship with each other.

When asked if he is relying too much on a small team, Sam said he only needs a team of 15 people. “I don’t think anyone can maintain close contact and communication with more than 15 people,” he said.

On the other hand, the relationships between the companies in the Sam Bankman-Fried ecosystem are rather ambiguous. FTX and Alameda were both founded by him, although Sam’s name is no longer on the investment fund’s team.

However, Alameda Research trades heavily on the FTX exchange. At the same time, this fund also has a conflict of interest with the floor’s customers. “Meaning sometimes it benefits when FTX users lose,” The New York Times identify. Sam Bankman-Fried once denied the relationship between these two organizations. At the same time, Alameda said they work in a separate office.

Contrary to claims, visitors who have visited FTX headquarters in the Bahamas said Alameda’s account could be identified from the exchange’s control computer.

After the penthouse went up for sale, Sam Bankman-Fried and his attorney declined to disclose their current location because of security concerns. However, the owner of FTX insists he is still in the Bahamas.

In addition, in a recent interview, Sam Bankman-Fried said he still plays Storybook Brawl for fun. “It helps me relax a bit,” says Sam. Sequoia Investment Fund also revealed that Sam Bankman-Fried played League of Legends while raising capital from this organization.

After that, the FTX still succeeds when it receives about 200 million USD from Sequoia. However, when FTX was on the verge of bankruptcy, the aforementioned investment fund declared it was not involved and lost all the money.

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