Bankman-Fried spent most of his Crypto Bahamas going back and forth from his laptop to the competition stage. His mother, Barbara Fried, also struggled with spending time alone with him. One afternoon, a blockchain older brother wearing a polo shirt to grab his attention cornered Mr. Bankman-Fried and asked him to take a picture of his friend’s birthday message. Minutes later, he shook hands with Tony Blair backstage and chatted awkwardly about Brexit.
Unlike some cryptocurrency conferences, the meeting in the Bahamas was an invitation-only event and attracted a large number of people. As a party favor, FTX’s guests were offered discounts from private jet companies. On the bus to the beach party, a participant told his story. Crypto Yacht Collective — “Once you enter, the most comprehensive and most exclusive club.”
In places like Puerto Rico, the rise of cryptocurrency millionaires seeking tax cuts has caused home prices to skyrocket, angering longtime residents. But the political leadership of the Bahamas welcomed the FTX with open arms. Prime Minister Philip Davis kicked off the conference’s programming day with an ardent speech, declaring that cryptocurrency entrepreneurs are “better connected to innovation and change than most people on the planet”. In a later interview, Davis said he was pleasantly surprised when Bankman-Fried was wearing a suit to an office meeting. He said, “I want you to be here.” Davis recalled what he had told him.
Mr. Bankman-Fried skipped most of the conference festivities, but he did not neglect his host. He had dinner with Mr. Blair and Mr. Clinton and rarely turned down selfies. He also helped organize the meeting, Mr. Mr. A lot of time has been devoted to Scaramucci.
The double act of Mooch and SBF marked the end of Crypto Bahamas. Returning to the green room, the FTX staff shared hugs and high-fives. Mr. Bankman-Fried was scrolling the phone. He reached out and stroked his hair. Then he checked his watch. The comedy beat lasted about 4 minutes. “There are a lot of emails to catch up with,” he said.
The convention center was empty as hundreds of cryptocurrency enthusiasts headed for the airport. It was the silence just before the collapse. To leave the resort, guests had to walk through the brightly lit halls of the largest Baha Mar casino in the Caribbean, flashing slot machines.