The jury has been sent home and is expected to return Friday.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has taken the stand in his ongoing fraud trial. However, the jury was not present during his testimony, as the judge overseeing the case wants to review his statements before deciding if they can be used as evidence. Bankman-Fried is facing seven counts of federal fraud and conspiracy related to the collapse of FTX and its sister trading house, Alameda Research.
The defense lawyers for Bankman-Fried argue that he acted in good faith, and the mistakes that led to the collapse of FTX were due to the fast-paced nature of the crypto industry. They are also seeking to undermine the prosecution's star witness, Bankman-Fried's ex-girlfriend and former CEO of Alameda. Bankman-Fried himself discussed the constant threat of hacking attempts on FTX and the company's document retention policy during his testimony.
On the other hand, prosecutors have accused Bankman-Fried of diverting customer funds to his hedge fund, Alameda Research, and using them for personal expenses. They are likely to cross-examine his claims, and if he is found guilty, Bankman-Fried could face decades in prison.
Bankman-Fried's decision to testify could be a last-ditch effort for his defense. However, it also poses risks as he could face a longer sentence if caught lying. The judge's decision to review his testimony before allowing the jury to hear it adds another layer of complexity to the case. The jury is expected to return on Friday to continue the trial.
The outcome of this trial could have significant implications for the cryptocurrency industry, particularly in terms of regulatory scrutiny and investor confidence. As the case unfolds, stakeholders in the crypto space will be watching closely to see how the legal system navigates this complex and high-stakes case.