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Crypto Kingpin Turned Mackerel Trader: Sam Bankman-Fried’s Prison Survival Story

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A New Currency Emerges in the Prison System

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former crypto luminary facing legal repercussions, has found a unique form of currency in the grim confines of prison: mackerel. In a world where traditional and digital money are scarce, inmates have turned to commodities like specific food items and stamps as substitutes for money.

Learning Survival Skills Behind Bars

While awaiting sentencing on seven criminal charges at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, Bankman-Fried has had the opportunity to study the complexities of jail survival. His dormitory companions, including a former president of Honduras and a high-ranking Mexican law enforcement official, have taught him the ropes.

Mackerel: The Preferred "Currency" in Federal Prisons

In federal prisons, food products like mackerel have become the preferred "currency" since the ban on cigarettes in 2004. Referred to as "macks" in prisoner slang, these stable and tangible goods have taken the place of traditional money that is difficult to obtain.

Trading Mackerel for Haircuts

According to sources, Bankman-Fried has already made use of this new currency. He was able to exchange pouches of mackerel for a haircut with another prisoner at the Brooklyn jail. The price of a packet of mackerel has risen by 30% from $1 in 2020 to $1.30 today, proving that even in prison, demand drives up prices.

From Vegan to Mackerel Trader

What makes this story even more interesting is that Bankman-Fried follows a vegan lifestyle, making mackerel an unlikely food choice for him. However, this accidental discovery has made mackerel an easier commodity for him to trade, giving him a better understanding of the prison business.

From Crypto Kingpin to Facing Jail Time

Bankman-Fried's troubles began when a federal judge revoked his bail in August, finding probable cause that he had attempted to intimidate witnesses. He was recently found guilty on allegations of embezzling billions of dollars from FTX clients and misleading lenders and investors. With a scheduled sentencing hearing on March 28, he faces the possibility of spending up to 110 years in jail and will also face trial on bribery charges.

A Stark Reality of Survival and Adaptation

As the drama unfolds, Sam Bankman-Fried's journey from crypto kingpin to mackerel trader encapsulates the stark reality of survival and adaptation in the unforgiving confines of prison life.

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