Caroline Ellison, former CEO of cryptocurrency trading firm Alameda Research, has risen to fame in the wake of the criminal investigation into the FTX crash. Alameda was founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX and Ellison’s private partner. Part of the money that Bankman was supposed to extort from FTX clients was added to the Alameda Research account. According to the Wall Street Journal, citing an anonymous source, Alameda City FTX $10 Billion. fraudulent investors.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Ellison with being an “active participant” in the Bankman scheme. It also accused it of manipulating the price of FTT, FTX’s internal token. Ellison was eventually informed that Bankman-Fried had made “false and misleading” statements to FTX investors. The woman settled with the US Department of Justice and pleaded guilty to seven counts, including fraud related to technology, securities and commodity trading. You face up to 110 years in prison.
“improve the world”
The scale of the potential sentence and the seriousness of the charges against her contrast starkly with the 28-year-old’s youthful, innocent appearance. Spice is added to the case by the fact that Ellison is the daughter of eminent MIT economiststhat is, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the most prestigious technical universities in the world. Journalists have also accessed her notes online, in which she shares her childhood experiences and thoughts on polygamy with the world.
A useful piece of information about Caroline Ellison is the Tumblr microblogging platform, on which she has been active since 2014. The account linked to Ellison which has been in operation since 2014 has been deleted, so it is now difficult to ascertain the author of the blog post attributed to the woman titled “I Represent the World” “. However, there is an archive of logs on the webThe authenticity of which was confirmed by Forbes journalists. Ellison entries cited in this article come from articles prepared by our colleagues from the US edition of Insider.
Red wine and taxes
Caroline’s father, Glenn Ellison, is chair of the economics department at MIT. He once reported directly to Gary Gensler, the current chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Caroline’s mother, Sarah Ellison, is a senior lecturer in economics at the same university and specializes in research in the pharmaceutical industry and e-commerce. Carolyn and her two younger sisters grew up in suburban Boston surrounded by numbers. No wonder the girl was an outstanding student in mathematics and her participation in many competitions in this field. She also won a medal in the Linguistic Olympiad.
“From an early age, my parents taught me things like the difference between correlation and causation and how to interpret observational studies versus randomized studies.” – reads one of Caroline’s Tumblr entries, quoted by American Insider.
Although she was of a scientific mind, she loved books from an early age. According to Forbes, when she was three years old, her parents read to her the first part of the Harry Potter saga. She read the second on her own when she was five years old. In her Tumblr posts, Caroline also shares the story of the presentation she was supposed to make for school at the age of 11. The task was to read the selected biographies and justify this choice. Her mother thought it would be “really interesting” to buy her a biography of Genghis Khan.
For part of her childhood, Ellison’s family lived in a home owned by Antonin Scalia, a lawyer and former Supreme Court justice who died in 2016. Caroline’s Tumblr account states that Scalia invited the family to visit him at the Supreme Court and said he would. Reserve a place for them to watch the session.
From the entries on the site, you can also tell that her parents gave her a lot of freedom. From a “young age” when her mother was away, her father allowed her to cook for the family. “The responsibility made me feel really cool and mature,” she wrote. In high school, she was supposed to drink red wine until lunch, following her parents’ example. Despite being very independent, she has often turned to her parents for help in her adult life.
“I call my parents when I’m having problems with my computer or in April and I realize I haven’t filed my taxes yet and I want someone else to do it for me,” she wrote on Tumblr in 2016.
More faith in yourself
Caroline studied mathematics at Stanford University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in 2016. In an interview with Forbes, her former lecturer described her as having a “sharp, focused and mathematical” mentality. Like Sam Bankman-Fried, During her studies, she became interested in the idea of effective altruism. Prior to joining Alameda, she worked at Jane Street Capital, a securities firm. There she also met the future founder of FTX, who brought her to Alameda in 2018. The beginnings must have been a bit chaotic. “It was very similar to Oh yeah, we don’t really know what we’re doing,” she told Forbes.
This interview is the result of the honor she received from the magazine. Although Ellison preferred to stay in the shadow of her colleagues gaining media exposure, in 2022 she was included in the “30 Under 30” list, which indicates the most influential people under the age of 30. In the application form for this award, she was asked what advice she would give her younger self. “I would tell her to be less risk-averse and more self-confident,” she wrote in the lawsuit.
In late 2018, Bankman-Fried moved Alameda’s headquarters from Berkeley, California to Hong Kong. Caroline was the only woman on the company’s male board of directors. As you can read at Forbes, While her office mates were playing League of Legends together, she watched Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.
In 2019, FTX was incorporated and Caroline began to take on more and more responsibilities related to Alameda, eventually becoming President. In 2021, Bankman-Fried decided to move his business to the Bahamas, where he began buying several properties. In one, he was to live with a group of nine of his closest associates, who made up the board of directors of the company. From media reports, a picture emerges of a student community in which roommates settle bills and purchases together, and at the same time enter into sexual relations with each other. Ellison’s Tumblr thoughts on bigamy are easily quoted in this context.
Unlike the blog, Caroline’s Twitter account remains active, although she has not posted anything on it since November 6, 2022, when she was still defending the financial balance of the company for which she was responsible. “Cryptocurrency Trader, Effective Influencer, I Do Not Offer Financial Advice,” reads its description on the platform.
Author: Anna Anagostopoulou, journalist for Business Insider Poland
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