Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange FTX is failing in spectacular fashion. This has surfaced a slew of revelations about the 30-year-old’s dealings and missteps that wiped away his company’s $32 billion valuation.
Now, questions are being raised about the $300 million Bahamian real estate portfolio FTX bought with senior executives and Bankman-Fried’s parents, chiefly made up of luxury beachfront homes.
Attorneys for FTX referred to the portfolio as Bankman-Fried’s “personal fiefdom,” Reuters reported. An investigation by the outlet identified 15 properties purchased by FTX Holdings Ltd, a division of the crypto exchange, totaling nearly $100 million in real estate assets.
The majority of the Bahamian properties were luxury houses and condos, intended for FTX employees as full-time residences and vacation homes.
FTX Holdings’ most expensive acquisition was a $30 million penthouse in the Albany, a luxury resort community on the island of New Providence, according to the publication. Records show the president of FTX Property, Ryan Salame, signed the deed in March, indicating it was a residence for “key personnel.”
A $39.5 million listing for a penthouse in the Albany, identified as the home of Bankman-Fried called “the Orchid,” turned out to be farce earlier this week.
FTX Holdings paid almost $72 million for a total of seven units in the Albany, according to records.
Other luxury properties acquired by FTX, with the signatures of Bankman-Fried, former head engineering Nishad Singh, and co-founder Gary Wang, were a trio of condos at One Cable Beach. The units ranged in price from $950,000 to $2 million, according to the outlet.
Bankman-Fried’s parents were the signatories for one home in the gated community Old Fort Bay. Stanford law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried declined to comment on how they paid for the property, but a spokesperson for the couple told the outlet they were, “Seeking to return the deed to [FTX].”
The collapse of FTX has decimated the real estate buyer pool of crypto investors. Brokers say cash-poor buyers with funds tied up in the digital currency will struggle to execute contracts, or downsize the real estate purchases they were looking to make.
Crypto-based acquisitions were already tricky to make, as many banks and financial institutions require funds be converted to cash in order to support transactions.
The Bahamas, where Bankman-Fried established FTX’s headquarters last year, has been the target of other crypto endeavors. Earlier this month, Agia International announced plans to develop a luxury crypto community at the site of the disastrous 2017 Fyre Festival on the island of Great Exum.
— Kate Hinsche