Bankman-Fried sounds barely competent to testify

Appearing only before the judge, Samuel Bankman-Fried, accused crypto scammer, took the stand for the first time. It would appear that speculation was correct, and Mr. Bankman-Fried is making a gigantic mistake testifying in his defense. Even if what the former CEO of failed crypto exchange FTX communicates is true, how he does it infuriates the judge, also making the court stenographer's job impossible.

Bankman-Fried is not listening to and certainly not directly answering questions. There are also complaints that he can not be heard; his manner of speech is mumbling and difficult to discern. A glowing example of crypto's best and brightest!


Of note: It was difficult to hear a clean quote from SBF — the stenographer at one point had to ask him to restate what he said several times just to understand what he was saying.

  • When the U.S. government's cross-examination hit, SBF seemed to tap-dance around the answers.
  • He was scolded for using legalese, wondering aloud whether a question was "in scope."
  • Kaplan at one point had to order him to listen to the U.S. prosecutor Danielle Sassoon's questions and answer them directly.

What they're saying: "Part of the problem is that the witness has what I'll simply call an interesting way of responding to questions for the moment," the judge said.