Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, is adjusting to a vastly different lifestyle at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the man who once spearheaded one of the most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges is now learning the intricacies of an economy based on mackerel packets, colloquially referred to as ‘macks,’ in the federal jailhouse.
Bankman-Fried’s fall from grace has been dramatic. Once a prominent figure in the crypto world, his life took a drastic turn following his conviction for fraud related to the collapse of FTX. Accused of misappropriating billions of dollars from FTX customers and misleading investors and lenders, his trial concluded with a conviction, and he now awaits sentencing, scheduled for March 28.
In the confines of the detention center, the traditional currencies and digital tokens of his past life have given way to a more rudimentary form of trade. Smoking bans in federal prisons have led to the rise of ‘mackerel economies,’ where inmates use pouches of preserved fish as a medium of exchange. Bankman-Fried reportedly traded these macks for a haircut before his trial.
His current living situation is a stark contrast to his former lavish lifestyle, which included a $30 million penthouse in the Bahamas. The detention center, known for its tough conditions and understaffing issues, represents a significant shift from his previous environment. Despite these challenges, Bankman-Fried has access to a specialized laptop for reviewing legal materials and has been seen giving cryptocurrency advice to guards.
Bankman-Fried’s defense team has indicated plans to appeal the conviction. If the appeal fails, he faces a potentially lengthy prison term. Life in a federal prison, where he is expected to be transferred post-sentencing, may offer more freedoms compared to the detention center, including better access to educational and recreational programs.