The high-profile trial of former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried began on October 3 with plenty of activity inside and outside the cramped Manhattan courtroom.
Journalists, crypto influencers, and other nerds reportedly gathered in a room full of media to take notes on the day’s events. Here are some of the hottest notes about the day.
Noticeably smaller, the distinctive haircut is gone
The defendant, Bankman-Fried, appeared noticeably fitter, according to multiple reports.
He was flanked by five defense attorneys, wearing a navy suit that appeared larger than in previous appearances, and his trademark shaggy locks had been replaced with a shorter hairstyle.
Some preliminary court sketches of Jane Rosenberg’s new SBF haircut to Reuters: pic.twitter.com/n0FqW71PWD
– Luke Cohen (@cohenluc) October 3, 2023
Unrestricted encryptionLaura Shinn of Bankman-Fried noted that she was noticeably “less stressed than usual.”
“I didn’t see him shake his leg at all,” she said. He said In a podcast dated October 3.
The only time he spoke was to say “yes” to the judge and occasionally look at the jurors. At other times, he was consulting with his lawyer or was seen typing and browsing on his laptop.
SBF vs. court man poetic drawing pic.twitter.com/rNC4MC2xRK
– Tiffany Fong (@TiffanyFong_) October 3, 2023
SBF has spent the last seven weeks or so detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. When his lawyers unsuccessfully pleaded for his release, they claimed he was living on “bread and water” and lacked vegetarian meal options.
Cryptocurrency influencer Tiffany Fung He said“It looks more criminal now.”
Journalists, influencers and skeptics come to the ‘Crypto Party’
The first day of the trial was described as being like “the first day of school,” according to some journalists present.
“I’ve never seen a courtroom like this,” commented an unnamed member of the press, according to The Slate.
“While waiting to get into the overflow media room, I’ve noticed practically anyone and everyone who has had something to say about decentralized currency over the past few years,” said Nitish Pahwa of The Slates.
he described It’s like a “crypto concert” packed with a mix of paid media participants, crypto influencers, nerds, skeptics, and more.
I’m standing outside SDNY attending the SBF trial pic.twitter.com/WDGd8kVqdQ
– Tiffany Fong (@TiffanyFong_) October 3, 2023
Cointelegraph correspondent Ana Paula Pereira is also attending and will provide daily updates on the most important developments during the trial.
The number of jurors is narrowed and some of them are sharing sad stories about cryptocurrencies
Judge Louis B. Kaplan to the growing crowd of potential jurors: “You shouldn’t do any research. “You shouldn’t read the press coverage.” However, he softened when it came to questioning the public, Cointelegraph reported.
Potential jurors were asked if they had prior knowledge of FTX and Alameda, with one saying they learned about it from The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, According to To a partial copy from Inner City Press.
One juror said they worked for a company that invested (and lost money) in FTX and Alameda. Another potential juror said:
“I invested in cryptocurrencies. I lost money.”
One juror said he wasn’t sure if he could be unbiased about cryptocurrencies: “I’ve felt negative about it ever since I learned about it.” He was later dismissed from the pool of potential jurors.
Another juror even asked the judge if the death sentence could be imposed on Bankman-Fried, to which the judge replied:
“We will get to him in a minute or two and my answer will be enough. Who does not want to accept this punishment come to court? No one.”
At the end of the hearing, Judge Kaplan said: “We now have a sufficient pool of qualified jurors, 50.” He added that 18 jurors will be selected, including 12 jurors and 6 alternate jurors.
He added that the next day (October 4) a microphone will be passed to each juror to speak for a minute. “Then the lawyers will consult and the final selection will be made,” he concluded.
The Assistant US Attorney read a list of potential witnesses for the prosecution. This included some expected names like former company executives like Carolyn Ellison, Gary Wang, Nishad Singh, Ryan Miller, Constance Wang, family members Joe Bankman and Barbara Fried, and even Anthony Scaramucci.
Several organizations were also listed including Jane Street Capital, Sequoia Capital, BlockFi, Genesis, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Binance, Nexo, Guarding Against Pandemics (SBF’s sister non-profit), and Voyager Digital.
The trial is expected to last six weeks
Judge Kaplan said the trial was expected to take about six weeks, but also noted that it could be over in a much shorter time.
Related: What was Sam Bankman Fried doing in prison?
However, by the end of the day, he had not successfully finalized the jury. Kaplan expected this to be completed by the morning of October 4, after which both sides are expected to give opening arguments totaling about 90 minutes.
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) October 3, 2023
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