The Epic Collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX Exchange: A Crypto Markets Timeline

Tracing the CoinDesk Market Index (CMI) through key news developments in the swift unraveling of billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto empire shows just how quickly the speculation kept shifting.

AccessTimeIconNov 12, 2022 at 4:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 15, 2022 at 1:43 p.m. UTC
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After this week's shocking (and still-unfolding) developments in the crypto industry, including the rapid unraveling of Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX exchange and Alameda Research trading firm, analysts with CoinDesk Indices worked with CoinDesk journalists to put together an annotated chart of the movements in the 162-asset CoinDesk Market Index (CMI).

The chart (featured above) shows how digital-asset traders scrambled to keep up.

Here's a timeline of the events:

Nov. 2: CoinDesk publishes exclusive revealing key balance-sheet details of Sam Bankman-Fried's Alameda Research trading firm, showing it's heavily invested in the FTX exchange's FTT token.

Nov. 6: Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao says he's selling his remaining holdings of FTT tokens. (Minutes later, Caroline Ellison, CEO of Alameda Research, tweets that Alameda will buy Zhao's FTT tokens for $22 each.

Nov. 8: Binance announces non-binding letter of intent to buy FTX, subject to due diligence, easing the industry panic.

Nov. 9: CoinDesk is first to report Binance is strongly leaning against buying FTX after just a few hours of checking its books and loans.

Nov. 9: Binance officially walks away from the FTX deal.

Nov. 9: Without details, Justin Sun drops hints at saving FTX.

Nov. 10: Bankman-Fried says Alameda Research, the trading firm at the center of the drama, is being wound down.

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CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Sage D. Young

Sage D. Young was a tech protocol reporter at CoinDesk. He owns a few NFTs, gold and silver, as well as BTC, ETH, LINK, AAVE, ARB, PEOPLE, DOGE, OS, and HTR.

Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.


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