With the clock ticking down to less than a day before Sam Bankman-Fried faces the judge for his sentencing, the crypto community is filled with anticipation and a fair bit of dread. The Federal Court in downtown Manhattan, standing proud on its 26th floor, is going to be the venue for a decision that could see SBF locked away for a generally-presumed 20 to 30 years, as was shared by CNBC reporter Mackenzie Sigalos. The man behind FTX, once a revered figure in the crypto industry, now faces the music with seven criminal charges dangling over his head.

Judge Kaplan, a seasoned sentinel of the Southern District of New York’s judicial halls, has shown scant patience for Bankman-Fried’s defenses during the trial. Now, with victims’ recently sharing their personal traumas caused by SBF, experts expect Kaplan to deliver a sentence that reflects the magnitude of the criminal’s actions.

One such story from an FTX customer, robbed of $4 million and their peace, shook the entire crypto community to its core. This person had a painstaking calculation of customer liabilities, totaling over a mind-blowing $19 billion.

SBF’s defense clings to a sliver of hope, arguing for a lighter sentence on the promise of reimbursements to FTX customers. They pin their hopes on the resurgence of cryptocurrency values and assets within FTX’s ownership, including a stake in the infamous AI startup Anthropic. Yet, this flicker of optimism does little to console the thousands who feel betrayed, which shows us the huge gap between legal reparation and true restitution. Even if Bankman-Fried gets the former, he is likely never getting the latter.

So as Bankman-Fried braces for his final stand before Judge Kaplan, the question of contrition is on everyone’s mind. Will his last words sway the scales of justice, or will they fall on ears deafened by the cries of the many people whose lives he practically ruined?

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