With Sam Bankman-Fried set to attend his next hearing on Jan. 3, industry watchers, critics and investors have now turned their eyes on Nishad Singh, the FTX chief engineer who was said to be “ashamed and guilty” about what happened to the once second largest crypto derivatives exchange in the world.
Authorities were able to expedite the investigation on Bankman-Fried and the collapse of FTX after the crypto empire’s co-founder Gary Wang and former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison cooperated with them.
Although Bankman-Fried or SBF, as he is more popularly known in the crypto world, served as the public face of FTX, it was him and his inner circle, made up of Ellison, Wang and Singh, who were believed to be the only persons who knew the nitty-gritty of the business operations.
Even before Bankman-Fried’s arrest in the Bahamas, FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame already flipped on the FTX founder with reports saying that the 29-year-old Sandisfield native tipped the Bahamian regulators about the alleged irregularities within the company on Nov. 9, two days before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
On Thursday, a few hours before Bankman-Fried arrived in the U.S., the Southern District of New York (SDNY) revealed that both Wang and Ellison pleaded guilty to fraud charges and were “cooperating” with authorities.
Two of Bankman-Fried’s lieutenants and one close friend already ratted him out and the public is wondering if his other lieutenant, Singh, would do the same, considering that in his previous interview, the former FTX CEO revealed that the chief of engineering was “ashamed and guilty.”
Singh graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science engineering and is the best friend of Bankman-Fried’s brother Gabe.
After graduation, he worked in machine learning at Facebook and left in 2017 after five months. Singh was the director of engineering at Alameda Research before he occupied the same seat in FTX in 2019 and, a year after that, silently emerged as one of the biggest political donors for the Democrats, shelling out over $8 million to political campaigns for the 2022 election cycle.
He was with Bankman-Fried and Wang in the Bahamas after FTX filed for bankruptcy and all three of them resigned, but after that, nothing is known about the Berkeley alumna.
Singh has maintained his silence post-FTX collapse. So far, his whereabouts are unknown, with reports claiming that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is now looking for him.
If the reports are true, it looks like Singh, unlike Wang and Ellison, did not rat Bankman-Fried out and would most likely not get the same deal as the other two.