After nine days in court, jury selection has begun for the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, a crypto trader accused of having interfered in the prices of Ether and Dogecoin.
The trial began recently in San Francisco and is expected to continue for at least a few weeks. Sam Bankman-Fried is facing charges that he engaged in two separate types of market abuse commonly known as “spoofing” and “layering.” According to the U.S. Department of Justice, he is being charged with two counts of “engaging in a fraudulent scheme and engaging in manipulative or deceptive practices in connection with commodities.”
The most noteworthy event of the trial so far is the presence of the judge himself. Judge William Alsup, who had previously ruled against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the case of Ripple, was selected to preside over this case. This came as a surprise to the crypto community, which had been eagerly awaiting the long-awaited trial, as many had feared that the judge appointed would be biased against crypto traders like Bankman-Fried.
In what some have seen as a positive sign, the judge himself challenged the prosecution’s case theaterically. During his questioning of SEC witnesses, he asked pointed questions that elicited critical information, such as whether the agency had considered any other possible explanations for Bankman-Fried’s alleged activities. This indicates that he will not take the prosecution’s case at face value and will be a formidable obstacle for prosecutors looking to prove their case.
The trial is expected to reach a verdict soon, and eyes are on the judge to see how he will manage the courtroom. There has been speculation as to what the verdict might be, but for the moment there is no telling how this case will end. From what has so far been discussed in the courtroom, one thing is certain: it has been an exciting beginning to what will undoubtedly be a fascinating and closely watched trial.