And then there’s the biggest difference: Where Bankman-Fried effectively (but still allegedly) stole billions of dollars from regular people around the world, Hayes has never been accused of taking anything that didn’t belong to him, or lying to his customers, or running a crooked business. “He’s absolutely one of the good guys of crypto,” says Nic Carter, the co-founder of Castle Island Ventures, a blockchain-focused investment firm. “BitMEX never screwed over their clients, never got hacked, never lost money.” If anything, Hayes has become something of a bitcoin martyr….
On April 6, 2021, Hayes touched down at an airport in Honolulu and surrendered to federal agents on the tarmac. He pleaded guilty to a single charge of violating the Bank Secrecy Act, paid a $10 million fine, and, last summer, began a six-month term of house arrest. For Hayes, it was an extended period of relative silence. He still tweeted and blogged about crypto from time to time, but he was careful not to further piss off the Department of Justice and jeopardize the fairly lenient sentence. When it was up in the middle of January, he flew the hell out of America and eventually landed in Japan, where he has been skiing six days a week and dreaming up his next move.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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