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FTX was a cryptocurrency exchange, a platform for exchanging cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency derivatives. It was headquartered in the Bahamas and headed by its founder, the American entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF. Gary Wang was its Chief Technology Officer and Nishad Singh was its Head of Engineering.

Alameda Research was a cryptocurrency trading firm founded and billed as an algorithmic trader, also founded by SBF and lately led by Chief Executive Officer Caroline Ellison. Despite being nominally independent, it was in practice closely intertwined with FTX.

On November 6th, 2022, FTX began to unravel; within days it had suspended withdrawals, been offered a distressed bailout deal by a competitor, and then seen the offer rescinded. Reportedly, SBF himself lost 94% of his net worth and dropped out of the billionaires' club. It emerged that FTX had been transferring customer deposits to Alameda, perhaps "accidentally" or through "confusing internal labeling", which then sank the funds into illiquid long-term investments or simply lost it in bad trades.

Authorities including the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York were said to be launching criminal investigations.