Alexey Pertsev and Sam Bankman-Fried; The Dichotomy of Scandal

Joshua Ramos

Alexey Pertsev is the developer of Tornado Cash, an entity sanctioned by the U.S. government due to its connection to North Korean hackers. Sam Bankman-Fried is the founder and CEO of FTX who fraudulently misused billions in customer assets. When taking a deeper look at these situations, a frightening reality emerges .

The controversies are very different, and even more so are their outcomes. Pertsev is currently in a Netherland jail awaiting a sentence from the prosecution that is convinced of his guilt. Whereas Bankman-Fried is a free man with a hearing set in December, and no great response has been seen against his actions thus far.

Alexey Pertsev and Tornado Cash

Source: The Defiant

The Tornado Cash scandal is a concerning one. The reality is that North Korean hackers utilized the platform and fraudulently processed over $1 billion worth of transactions. The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioning was appropriate. Crimes were being committed, and Tornado was host to them.

Yet, paying the price is the man responsible for developing the platform, Alexey Pertsev. A Russian national living in the Netherlands, the young developer has officially been sentenced to remain in jail until late February, at the least. Moreover, Pertsev was labeled a flight risk and denied any sort of bail on account of his crimes

Source: Coindesk

The controversy surrounding Pertsev has been linked to his role in the Tornado Cash debacle. In most circles, Persev’s story is met with passionate defenses. After all, the world of virtual currency becomes a lot more dangerous if Web3 developers are going to be held accountable for how their open-source software is utilized.

Protestors have been present every step of the way for the Dutch hearings against Pertsev. Subsequently, signs read, “Open Source [Code] is Not a Crime.” With droves coming to defend his standing in Tornado’s scandal. Yet, it feels as though Pertsev’s story has evaded the eye of the mainstream media.

Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX

Source – Newshubweek

Correspondingly, you have former cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried. A 30-year-old CEO who brought the crypto exchange platform FTX to the mainstream world. Massive sports stadiums and celebrity endorsements abounded the behemoth platform.

Then, in one fell swoop, it all came crumbling down. What first began as a plummeting native token developed into reports of fraudulent actions. Bankman-Fried and his girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, were accused of misusing billions of customer funds. Moreover, through the sister platform Alameda Research, they were defrauding and perverting the trust of their massive customer base.

Source: Forbes

Bankman-Fried is the titanic fall that the cryptocurrency realm had yet to see. Thereafter these accusations, the platform went bankrupt. Its salvation is a decidedly grim possibility; it’s unlikely at best. Conversely, it wasn’t just the impact on FTX, as the platform’s deterioration has taken a meteoric strike into the cryptocurrency market.

Trust is broken with customers regarding centralized exchanges. A platform that was among the biggest and most reliable was nothing more than a well-thought-out scam. Sam Bankman-Fried, at best, is a woefully ignorant criminal caught in a rouse. Yet, at worst, he is a malevolent force set out to gain by whatever means necessary.

Pertsev and Bankman-Fried

So, what is the difference between Alexey Pertsev and Sam Bankman-Fried? One was a software developer who is paying the price for how his work was used. Alternatively, Bankman-Fried was a willing orchestrator of fraudulent practices that collapsed an entire platform.

Oh, and there is also the fact that Alexey Pertsev is imprisoned, labeled a flight risk by prosecutors. Whereas Sam Bankman-Fried is a free man, with only his governmental ties leaving the public to speculate on his innocence.

These situations are not alike in any sense. And the outcome of their difference must facilitate dialogue. Alexey Pertsev and Sam Bankman-Fried, dare I say, are living each other’s fates.