10 episodes

Once upon a time, there were two titans of the crypto industry: Sam Bankman-Fried, the child of Stanford professors and founder of FTX, and Changpeng Zhao, the nomadic founder of Binance. The pair were the faces of crypto, generating billion-dollar fortunes comparable to the likes of Elon Musk and Bill Gates. That is, until their rivalry threatened to burn the entire industry to the ground.

For years, the pair had waged a cold war as Sam fought to unseat Zhao, or CZ, and dominate the industry. Then, last year, CZ fired a warning shot: one that would send FTX into a downward spiral, and reveal what prosecutors describe as a staggering $8bn fraud at the heart of Sam’s empire. Now, as Sam potentially faces decades in prison, journalist Tom Wright has been investigating the hidden origins of his feud with CZ – starting with a key witness: CZ himself.

Crypto Kingpins USG AUDIO PODCASTS

    • True Crime
    • 4.8 • 33 Ratings

Once upon a time, there were two titans of the crypto industry: Sam Bankman-Fried, the child of Stanford professors and founder of FTX, and Changpeng Zhao, the nomadic founder of Binance. The pair were the faces of crypto, generating billion-dollar fortunes comparable to the likes of Elon Musk and Bill Gates. That is, until their rivalry threatened to burn the entire industry to the ground.

For years, the pair had waged a cold war as Sam fought to unseat Zhao, or CZ, and dominate the industry. Then, last year, CZ fired a warning shot: one that would send FTX into a downward spiral, and reveal what prosecutors describe as a staggering $8bn fraud at the heart of Sam’s empire. Now, as Sam potentially faces decades in prison, journalist Tom Wright has been investigating the hidden origins of his feud with CZ – starting with a key witness: CZ himself.

    Episode 1: Silicon Valley Nerds

    Episode 1: Silicon Valley Nerds

    A story about what happens — and who gets hurt — when you see everything as a game.

    • 33 min
    Episode 2: Money and a Hat

    Episode 2: Money and a Hat

    Welcome to crypto: like Wall Street on steroids.

    • 37 min
    Episode 3: The Wild East

    Episode 3: The Wild East

    Hong Kong, the perfect launch pad to make it big in crypto.

    • 26 min
    Episode 4: Coming to America

    Episode 4: Coming to America

    Big influence comes with a cost. So where exactly is Sam getting all this cash?

    • 31 min
    Episode 5: The Island Cowboy

    Episode 5: The Island Cowboy

    In the Bahamas, the life of FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried is about to take a surreal turn.

    • 33 min
    Episode 6: Kill Shot

    Episode 6: Kill Shot

    “You're just a dumb lawyer. If you were smart, you'd be a Bitcoin billionaire.”

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

LJ N ,

Outstanding!

Loved the podcast!

IEM1967 ,

Interesting but seems conflicted

This is a very interesting podcast with what appears to be good reporting. However, there is one line in one of the episodes regarding the narrator and his connection to CZ (the Binance Founder). The individual says, without much clarification, that he speaks regularly to this day to CZ. This alone is enough to call into question some of the reporting about Sam Bankman-Fried, in comparison to coverage of Binance and CZ. There seems to be more than a bit of armchair, psychology, being employed, when discussing SBF and his veganism polyamorous, and other matters that seem intended more as a smear campaign than as journalism. There is no mention of the problems with finance, or the fact that it like FTX is also engaged in what may in the end also amount to a sophisticated Ponzi Scheme.

Ooh lah lah ,

Simply SUPERB

From the reporting to the writing, the narration, and even the background music, this is storytelling at its best—and what a story. Kudos!

Top Podcasts In True Crime

Three
Wavland
Beyond All Repair
WBUR
Dateline NBC
NBC News
Crime Junkie
audiochuck
Morbid
Morbid Network | Wondery
Murder in the Hollywood Hills
NBC News

You Might Also Like

Homegrown: OKC
USG Audio
World Of Secrets
BBC
Serial
Serial Productions & The New York Times
The Burden
Orbit Media
Consider This from NPR
NPR
Fallen Angels: A Story of California Corruption
iHeartPodcasts