Bahamian Attorney General L. Ryan Pinder released a video statement on Sunday evening about the investigation into crypto platform FTX, which was based in the Bahamas before imploding earlier this month, taking billions of dollars. with her. And at least one thing is clear: Pinder knows that FTX investors believe the Bahamian government hasn’t done its job.
Pinder went on the defensive in the new video, insisting that the rule of law in the Bahamas is strong and that other countries have also seen crypto companies fail dramatically lately (he doesn’t is not mistaken there). But Pinder did not say what could happen to Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX commonly known as SBF, who is believed to still be living on the island nation.
“The Bahamas is a place of laws. The rule of law and due process characterize the integrity of our jurisdiction,” Pinder said as he opened his 23-minute video, which aired on Facebook. FTX filed for bankruptcy more than two weeks ago in a Delaware court. Bahamian regulators challenged that filing, arguing that FTX was not legally allowed to file for bankruptcy in the United States and that at least part of the company’s reorganization falls within their jurisdiction.
The Bahamas is infamous as a tax haven for the ultra-rich around the world and has been actively courting crypto companies in recent years to set up shop in the former British colony.
Many in the crypto world wonder why Sam Bankman-Fried is still living as a free man in the Bahamas. Bankman-Fried allegedly used deposits from FTX clients to make risky investments through its Alameda Research hedge fund, apparently losing billions of dollars in the process. Bankman-Fried has more or less admitted the behavior in media interviews and tweets, though questions about the exact amounts and where all that money went are still unanswered.
Pinder was quick to note during his video stream that Alameda Research is not regulated in the Bahamas, unlike FTX, which is registered to do business there. Pinder also praised the Bahamas Securities Commission for moving “quickly” to suspend FTX’s trading license and appoint liquidators to the company, which was only recently valued at $32 billion.
“The Commission was the first regulator in the world to take significant action regarding the FTX group of companies,” Pinder said, referring to the seizure of cryptocurrencies held by FTX.
But Pinder said the “basic facts” of the case have been “obscured by guessing games and rumours”. Pinder kept insisting that his office was in the “early stages” of its “very complex” investigation into FTX.
“We understand the enormous interest in this story, but as a government we decided right away that the most important thing was not to indulge in speculation or gossip, but rather to proceed methodically and deliberately. in accordance with the exercise of due process and the rule. of the law,” Pinder said.
Pinder characterized the cryptocurrency industry as merely a new frontier that was bound to struggle in its early years. But with billions of very real dollars missing, it’s hard to find much sympathy among FTX depositors who thought they were investing in a safe platform. FTX even bought TV ads during the Super Bowl featuring Larry David, leading even more people to believe the company was a safe place to park their money. David and other celebrities like Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen have been prosecuted for their involvement in marketing the company ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“There are still no globally agreed standards,” Pinder noted for the crypto industry. “Regulators around the world are still grappling with how to regulate digital assets.”
Pinder has repeatedly stated that FTX operates in many other jurisdictions, trying to suggest that other governments around the world should have kept tabs on things before FTX filed for bankruptcy, even though his own country requested the authority over said bankruptcy filing.
“Any attempt to throw this entire debacle at the feet of the Bahamas because FTX is headquartered here would be a gross oversimplification of reality,” Pinder said. said.
In fact, Pinder spent the vast majority of his time on Sunday night insisting that the Bahamas is a reputable place to do business, with a strong legal framework to deal with bad actors. But it all sounded a bit like someone insisting on their honesty when you weren’t really asking. Honest people don’t usually spend all day insisting that they never lie.
“We were shocked by the ignorance of those who claim that FTX came to the Bahamas because they did not want to engage in regulatory scrutiny. In fact, the world is full of countries where there are no of legislative regulatory authority over the crypto and digital asset sector,” Pinder said, clearly getting flustered.
Attorney General Pinder may also have worn a shirt that read “Bahamas is not involved in crypto laundering,” a decision that is sure to generate questions already. answered by his shirt.