In the ongoing trial of crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), he took the stand on Thursday to testify in his defense. This marked the second time he publicly addressed the court, following his initial affirmation to testify when asked by Judge Lewis Kaplan. The defense presented their arguments after several weeks of the prosecution building their case with mounting evidence.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the crypto mogul currently on trial, took the stand to testify in his defense. The defense asked for a motion of acquittal, which was denied by Judge Kaplan. The trial resumes after a recess, with the prosecution planning on calling another witness before the defense presents their case.
On Thursday morning, the prosecutors rested their case, and Bankman-Fried’s lead lawyer, Mark Cohen, requested a motion for acquittal on all seven counts against his client. Cohen claimed that the government’s case was “insufficient” and lacked “materiality.” However, the motion was opposed by the prosecutors and subsequently denied by Judge Kaplan.
The trial had been on recess from October 20 until now, with a virtual hearing held on Wednesday to discuss the remaining proceedings. During this call, the defense indicated that they have three potential witnesses, including SBF himself. Before the defense presents their case, the prosecution plans to call FBI agent Marc Troiano to summarize certain documents related to FTX and Alameda, the companies associated with Bankman-Fried.
In preparation for the defense’s case, a letter was filed requesting permission to question Bankman-Fried concerning certain aspects of FTX and Alameda. These inquiries included the implementation of data retention policies and loans made to executives. The defense argued that Bankman-Fried’s understanding that these policies were implemented under legal guidance would be crucial in challenging any assumptions of impropriety.
On the virtual call, Cohen estimated that Bankman-Fried’s testimony would take a similar length of time as that of his former colleagues who pleaded guilty. He expects the testimony to span a significant portion of Thursday, with the possibility of cross-examination continuing into Friday.
Bitcoin Rises Amid Speculation of Spot ETF Approval
While the SBF trial captures the attention of the crypto world, bitcoin continues to make headlines with its rising value. The popular cryptocurrency crossed the $34,500 mark, prompting speculation about its future stability. Investors and analysts are closely observing whether the upward momentum will hold and drive further gains.
Additionally, there is growing optimism regarding the potential approval of a bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) in 2024. Bitwise’s general counsel expressed “great hope” for ETF approval, which could open new avenues for mainstream adoption and investment in the cryptocurrency.
Walmart Launches Web3 Accelerator with Five Startups
Shifting focus to the world of web3, retail giant Walmart, in collaboration with Outlier Ventures, launched a web3 accelerator program. This initiative aims to support and foster innovation within the decentralized web space. The accelerator has selected five startups to participate, highlighting the increasing interest and investment in web3 technologies.
As the crypto and web3 landscapes continue to develop, these stories and ongoing trials like SBF’s demonstrate the evolving nature and growing importance of the industry.