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FTX: Chief engineer’s tell-all reveals SBF’s lies. What happens next?

3min Read

SBF’s hearing has been getting interesting day after day and today, op 16 October, Nishad Singh, FTX’s chief engineer took the stand to share his side of events.

FTX's donations were made under Nishad Singh's identity for "advantageous optics"

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  • FTX’s former chief engineer claimed that he had very little involvement with the donation proceedings of FTX.
  • Singh claimed that the donations money came from Alameda, which in turn, from FTX’s customers.

The criminal trial of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) enters its third week of hearing with another of his close circle members spilling the tea. Today (16 October), the spotlight lies on the former chief engineer — Nishad Singh, and his side of the story which fills the gaps from previous testimonies.

As per Inner City Press, Singh started by admitting to committing fraud and campaign finance violations along with SBF, Caroline Ellison, and others. The former executive stated that he had met Bankman-Fried through his younger brother Dave, one of his close friends. The UC Berkeley graduate started working for Alameda Research – the investment arm of FTX – in 2017 as a software engineer.

SBF in charge of it all?

Singh revealed that SBF was the one making calls on the endorsement deals and venture investments. At its zenith, FTX was spending millions on celebrities for endorsement purposes. SBF even wanted to bring in Taylor Swift, an American pop and country music star for $100 million. However, the plan went kaput after massive disapproval from the firm’s executives.

Nonetheless, by the time of its collapse, FTX had spent a whopping $1 billion on endorsements. Speaking about this, Singh expressed that he was “upset” given the sheer scale of money spent. He said,

“I said this is crazy, cut this. He (SBF) said he didn’t think these were bad spends. I pointed at a couple. He said he agreed, but that cutting would cost 70% of seeing them through.”

Moreover, Bankman-Fried was also the ultimate decision-maker with matters related to Alameda’s money. Labeling him as an “excessive” spender, Singh stated that SBF had “threatened to fire Caroline,” the former CEO of Alameda.

Singh on FTX’s donations and collapse

Furthermore, Singh also detailed the campaign donations made under his name. He stated that Ryan Salame — former CEO of FTX — used his bank account and Prime Trust account to make transactions. He also claimed that his name was used for donations for “advantageous optics”, while the money came from Alameda, which in turn from FTX customers.

Singh claimed that his direct involvement in a majority of these donations was “very little”, with his role limited to “click(ing) the button”. He added, “I tried to be a(s) uninvolved as possible. There was a Signal chat called Donations Processing”.

Toward the end, Sing spoke about the events that unfurled during the collapse of FTX in November 2022. He revealed that there was a discussion among him, SBF, and Ryan Salame about calling the exchange solvent during the bank run, which he found “not true”. This plan included putting out strong Tweets to mislead customers.

As per Ellison’s hearing, SBF had drafted a Tweet to be posted on her X (formerly Twitter) account. The Tweet was directed at Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, to call out on his “bluff” of selling their FTT, which had driven the market into further frenzy. Singh said,

He expressed that during this timeframe he was “suicidal” and had sought answers from SBF on his role in the collapse. Particularly, he wanted clarification that he “only became aware late in the game”.

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Priya is a freelance cryptocurrency writer at AMBCrypto. A student in business administration, Priya focuses on the latest developments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology space.
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