The collapse of the FTX exchange remains a topic in the cryptocurrency world, and Brett Harrison, the former president of FTX US, recently shed light on his personal experiences and views on the saga, including his tense relationship with Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the founder of FTX.
The Breakdown of a Professional Relationship
Harrison's tenure at FTX US ended months before the exchange's dramatic implosion, marked by a complete breakdown in communication with Bankman-Fried. Harrison recounts the difficulty in even resigning from his position, saying, “I had to talk to other people in the company to formally resign.
I wrote one text to Sam and I got back a single heart emoji. That was the last I heard from him”. This terse exchange was the culmination of a deteriorating relationship that began when the two were colleagues at Jane Street.
The root of their falling out, according to Harrison, was Bankman-Fried's inflated ego and his aversion to criticism. “Sam hated criticism and, as a result, refused to communicate with me. It drove my decision to quit even further,” Harrison explained.
Despite his close proximity to the upper echelons of FTX, Harrison claims he was blindsided by the company's downfall, expressing shock at the extent of the damage caused by one individual's actions.
Justice Served and New Beginnings
Reflecting on the recent fraud trial against Bankman-Fried, Harrison feels that justice has been rightly served.
He emphasizes the importance of accountability, particularly in the high-stakes world of finance and technology. Harrison hasn’t let the FTX debacle slow him down. He has since co-founded Architect.xyz, a DeFi platform aimed at connecting various opportunities in the digital asset space for both institutional and retail investors.
With a background in computer science and artificial intelligence from Harvard University, Harrison brings a wealth of knowledge to his new venture.
1/ An announcement: I’m stepping down as President of @FTX_Official.
Over the next few months I’ll be transferring my responsibilities and moving into an advisory role at the company. — Brett Harrison (@BrettHarrison88) September 27, 2022
AI: A Tool, Not a Threat
In discussing the potential of AI, Harrison downplays fears of an AI-driven apocalypse.
He believes that concerns about AI as a threat to humanity are overblown, noting that AI development has been a long process with roots stretching back decades. Instead, he points to the misuse of AI in scams and identity theft as a more tangible concern.