Opinion: SBF’s trial is a distraction. Let’s get on with building the future

Written by Mel Gelderman

Posted on October 5th, 2023

Disgraced FTX founder SBF deserves a long prison sentence if found guilty, but we should focus on building instead, Mel Gelderman writes.

The world press is looking in the same direction as token fans this week, and only one thing is on everyone’s minds: Sam Bankman-Fried’s highly-anticipated court trial. The FTX founder arrived in New York on Tuesday to answer to the court over the exchange’s spectacular collapse. FTX suffered a meltdown almost a year ago after losing $9 billion in customer funds. While several FTX insiders allegedly knew about the hole, SBF is thought to be the main culprit. 

“Let’s work on building cool products that use token technology.”

SBF and a disastrous 2022 🧨

There’s a reason everyone is still talking about this story. FTX’s implosion rounded out a devastating year for tokens; it almost felt like the final act in a tragedy. Our space hit the news for all of the wrong reasons, and it potentially set the industry back by years. Many people lost their life savings. If the court decides SBF is guilty, it will go down as the biggest financial crime of the 21st century (and he should get a lengthy sentence). I hope we get justice and truth. 

Sam Bankman-Fried arrives to court ahead of his trial over FTX’s collapse (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg)

Learning and building 👌

But I also hope we can move on from SBF and FTX. 2022 washed out several bad actors in our space. We need this court trial and I hope FTX customers will recover their fundsbut it’s important we focus on the road ahead. I want to see the industry learn from the mistakes of the past and return to building. We should not put questionable figures on pedestals. Instead, let’s work on cool products that take advantage of the enormous power of token technology. For token.com, that means shipping exciting things like our video feature to make tokens accessible to the world. 

“SBF has nothing to do with tokens.”

In a way, SBF has nothing to do with tokens. While we’re all hoping for a positive conclusion to this story, it’s really a distraction. This is a wonderful space where creativity and innovation thrive. We should make sure that’s the story the world gets to hear as we build the future. 

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