The highly-anticipated and highly-scrutinized trial of former FTX head Sam Bankman-Fried is set to begin tomorrow, Tuesday, April 20, 2021.
Bankman-Fried, the former head of the cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX, was charged with a felony count of securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in February 2021. The SEC alleges that Bankman-Fried, as well as three other former FTX executives, artificially manipulated the price of two of the exchange’s coins in order to make a profit. If convicted, Bankman-Fried could face up to ten years in prison.
The trial will be conducted virtually, and it’ll be streamed live on YouTube. Bankman-Fried’s legal team consists of well-known lawyers such as Ivan Stoltzfus and Bill Killian, who specialize in defending high-profile clients from federal charges. The prosecution, meanwhile, will be represented by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
The case has attracted widespread attention from the media and the crypto community. Many are drawing parallels between this case and the one against Edward Snowden, the former CIA contractor who leaked classified government information. Bankman-Fried’s situation is less serious than Snowden’s since the alleged offenses are for financial gain, and not because of a political agenda.
Nevertheless, the proceedings of the trial will be closely watched around the world. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts will be eagerly awaiting the outcome, as it could have far-reaching implications for the industry and its regulations.
The trial is scheduled to begin tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. EST. It’s not yet clear how long it’ll last, but it will definitely be one of the most important trials of the year for both the cryptocurrency world, and the broader financial industry.