Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Tarun Chitra, and chop it up about the latest news. This week, the crew is joined by Gabriel Shapiro, general counsel at Delphi Labs, to talk about the key points in the criminal trial of Sam Bankman-Fried and his lackluster defense strategy so far. They also delve into Michael Lewis’ book and his depictions of SBF’s “lore and backstory,” and discuss how SBF’s “quirks of character” may have actually enticed investors.


Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Show highlights:

  • How Haseeb’s previous comments on Sam Bankman-Fried’s intentions “didn’t age well” after developments in the trial
  • Why Gabriel believes that SBF is a “sociopath” and should have taken a plea deal if offered
  • Shortcomings in the defense’s strategy and why Gabriel believes they’re “grasping at straws”
  • How the fake numbers of FTX insurance fund highlight the weaknesses of a centralized exchange
  • Why Matt Huang, cofounder of VC firm Paradigm, agreed to testify in such a high-profile trial, and why Haseeb as a VC himself wouldn’t have done it
  • Whether SBF understood the technical components of crypto and why he sounded like ChatGPT in his responses, according to Tarun
  • Whether VCs are to blame for investing in FTX or what lessons VCs need to take away from the SBF debacle.
  • The differences and similarities between SBF and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao







Previous coverage of the trial elsewhere: