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Former Alameda Research Engineer, Now Broke: ‘I’m Ready to Tell My Story’

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Aditya Baradwaj, a former Alameda Research engineer, accuses ex-boss Sam Bankman-Fried of stealing his life savings.
  • Months after the collapse of FTX, Baradwaj shared his distressing experience working for Alameda Research.
  • Despite public perception, Baradwaj reveals that FTX and Alameda Research were highly intertwined in practice.
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Aditya Baradwaj, a former employee at Alameda Research, has spilled the beans regarding his experience working for Sam Bankman-Fried’s now-defunct investment firm.

“As an engineer at Alameda Research, I had my entire life savings stolen from me by my former boss: Sam Bankman-Fried,” he alleges.

Rapid Change From Humble Beginnings

On August 23, Baradwaj shared in a series of X (formerly known as Twitter) posts explaining that the months following the downfall of FTX and its sister company, Alameda Research, have been quite distressing for him.

“Now, after months of recuperation from the craziness of the FTX collapse, I’m ready to tell my story,” the former Alameda Research employee declared.

Baradwaj admits that when he became an employee of Alameda, it was just a “small, mysterious crypto trading firm.”

“At the time, there had only been minor press coverage of Sam,” he stated. He recalled learning about the company due to reports circulating among students at Berkeley University, where he was studying.

FTX and Alameda Research Office in Downtown, Berkeley. Source: Aditya Baradwaj
FTX and Alameda Research Office in Downtown Berkeley. Source: Aditya Baradwaj

He recounts stepping into the building on his first day and meeting Sam Bankman-Fried for the very first time.

“When I entered the office SBF was sitting at his desk in the middle of the trading floor, taking a call while playing League, in characteristic fashion,” he recalls.

However, he challenges the public perception that FTX and Alameda ever possessed corporate autonomy:

“Despite the fact that on paper, Sam had already transitioned to running FTX full-time, in practice both companies were highly intertwined. Joint offices, social events, and housing arrangements between both companies was the norm.”

The Idea for Relocating to The Bahamas

While sharing pizza with SBF later that evening, SBF revealed the idea of relocating the company to The Bahamas. He reportedly highlighted the influence he could hold on the island.

Baradwaj recounts SBF saying, “did you know that FTX’s revenue is greater than 10% of the Bahamas’ GDP?”

Initially doubting the claims, Baradwaj realized that SBF’s statement was fairly accurate after a quick Google search.

Baradwaj recalls hearing first-hand about SBF’s plan to build a vaccine factory and his plan to cure Malaria. “Hearing Sam unveil his vision for the future, it became clear that every action he had taken – Alameda, FTX, the Bahamas, policy proposals – was all part of a grand plan,” he declares.

To learn more about the downfall of FTX, read BeInCrypto’s guide: FTX Collapse Explained: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Empire Fell

Baradjwaj expresses that he experienced an extravagant lifestyle, jetted around the globe, mingling with celebrities and political figures. Simultaneously, he purportedly observed major flaws:

“Careless risk management for a company handling billions of dollars in capital. Technical debt that would make any software engineer shed a tear. Millions lost in wasteful spending, and the hubris that it wouldn’t matter.”

On August 11, authorities placed SBF in prison. He had been on house arrest since his extradition back to the US in December 2022.

He was put in custody due to witness tampering allegations, specifically involving his former girlfriend Caroline Ellison. Ellison is now a key witness in the prosecution.

It was reported that SBF released Ellison’s private journals to the New York Times in an effort to intimidate her ahead of the October trial date.

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Ciaran Lyons
Ciaran is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He particularly enjoys writing about CBDC developments and the practical implementations of cryptocurrency in real-world scenarios. He has also appeared across major television networks in Australia including Channel Ten, Channel Nine and SBS TV. Prior to his foray into cryptocurrency, Ciaran worked as a presenter on national radio station Triple J.