Crypto founder's lawyer says he was in a risky business

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Crypto founder's lawyer says he was in a risky business

The lawyer of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange founder said in his opening statement that his client was in a risky business, noting that 'crypto was not for everyone'.

FTX had asserted the opposite in an online post about a car race it sponsored in Miami Beach, Florida, six months before its collapse in November 2022.

FTX posted a video on its official Twitter account on May 13, 2022, alongside a video showing racing cars, bartenders pouring cocktails, and retired NBA star Shaquille Os trial on Wednesday, prosecutors played for the jury FTX video advertisements in which a narrator said, 'we're inviting everyone in', as well as spots featuring NFL quarterback Tom Brady and comedian Larry David.

Bankman-Fried, 31, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud and five counts of conspiracy over the collapse of FTX. Prosecutors said in opening statements that he stole US$10 billion in customer funds to buy luxury real estate, donate to US political candidates and plug losses at his hedge fund.

FTX's marketing to retail investors to try to broaden the appeal of cryptocurrency, once a niche asset class, could be a key issue in the trial.

Prosecutor Thane Rehn said FTX's advertising promoted the exchange as trustworthy even while Bankman-Fried was allegedly stealing deposits. Rehn said that the recruitment of additional customers helped FTX meet demands from others to withdraw their money, masking the theft for a time.

Bankman-Fried's lawyer, Mark Cohen, said his client never intended to steal funds. Bankman-Fried's statement portrayed Bankman-Fried as an ambitious entrepreneur who oversaw key business functions like risk management as FTX grew rapidly during a boom in the value of digital assets.

Bankman-Fried did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The video, titled FTX Off the Grid, chronicles the boom times in crypto before rising interest rates led to a sell-off in tokens like bitcoin. It depicts women in swimsuits posing on a beach, with a mascot for the Miami Heat basketball team, and a crowd dancing at a concert featuring smoke and flashing lights.

FTX's celebrity promoters, including O losses.