Sam Bankman-Fried and the spectacular fall of his crypto empire, FTX

So far the world of crypto has existed mostly on the periphery of the economy; what happens in the crypto market hasn't much affected the rest of the world. But one man was determined to change that.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the 30-year-old founder of crypto companies FTX and Alameda Research, made billions in just a few years, and in the process, became the face of respectability in an industry usually associated with less-than-respectable characters.

He was one of the few crypto nerds who broke through into popular culture. He, and FTX, were everywhere: he was on the cover of magazines like Fortune and Forbes, in Superbowl ads with and in ads in Vogue and The New Yorker; comedian Larry David and football star Tom Brady did ads for the company, and the stadium where the Miami Heat play was renamed the FTX Arena. And Bankman-Fried built a reputation as an elder statesman of crypto. When many crypto companies were struggling, he publicly declared that he would help bail them out.