The Bahamas' Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Ryan Pinder, claimed that despite his nation's reputation as a "crypto paradise" and sanctuary for cryptocurrency programs, "The Bahamas remains a place of laws" in a late Sunday press conference to defend the "integrity of our jurisdiction."

The 20-minute speech, which was streamed live online, addressed the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX more than 40 times but just once specifically referred to Sam Bankman-Fried as its infamous founder.

"We have been shocked at the ignorance of those who assert that FTX came to the Bahamas because they did not want to submit to regulatory scrutiny," Pinder said. "In fact, the world is full of countries in which there is no legislative or regulatory authority over the crypto and digital asset business, but The Bahamas is not one of these countries."

However, Pinder warned that "the basic facts have been obscured by guessing games and rumors" despite acknowledging "the enormous interest" in the FTX case.

The Bahamian official outlined the sequence of events leading up to the FTX crash, stressing that Alameda Research is currently outside of his purview unless the company comes under his control.

Pinder further emphasized that the collapse of FTX was merely one in a series of recent company disasters.

"On a basic level, recent events involving the insolvency crisis experienced by the FTX group of companies have been experienced around the world in practically every sector," Pinder said. "What happened can more readily be understood as a case of a very large business failure as a result of questionable internal management practices and corporate governance."

Pinder was raised in The Bahamas but finished high school in New York. Later attended the University of Miami for her with an MBA and a law degree.

After returning to his own country and serving in the parliament for a number of years, he made headlines by leaving public service in 2014 to accept what he called a "mind-blowing" offer to work as Chief Legal Officer at Deltec Bank & Trust, a Bahamas-based institution.

According to a New York Times article, Deltec Bank has connections to FTX because one of its clients is stablecoin issuer Tether, and its chairman, Jean Chalopin, also serves as the chairman of Farmington State Bank in Washington State, which is controlled by FTX.

The Bahamas' ambitions to establish itself as a hub for blockchain technology and digital assets were discussed during a meeting with Pinder, then serving in the newly created position of the attorney general, which was reported  by the bank late last year.

At least one request for Pinter to withdraw from the lawsuit was sparked by the relationship.

The connection has prompted at least one call for Pinter to save himself from the case.

"In the digital assets arena, what matters is not the size of your landmass, nor the size of your GDP, but the ingenuity and rigor of your people and your jurisdiction," he said. "I am fully confident that as matters progress and the activities of the FTX group are either restructured or wound down, the Bahamas will emerge held in even higher esteem. A turbulent cryptocurrency period on a global basis, and the downfall of a single Bahamian company, in no way threatens a bright future for the Bahamas," he continued.

He closed his address with a call to entrepreneurs looking to create new financial projects.

Nov 27, 2022
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