Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Elon Musk's Twitter Takeover and Tweets

Image of Elon Musk posted in front of the Twitter logo and the
 logo of his best-known company Tesla (Ohnsman, Nov.23, 2022).


Elon Musk has rapidly grown in popularity and wealth in recent years by investing and leading in technology, all while being an active presence on social media platforms by expressing his personal views on cultural topics of debate and politics. More recently, Musk was moved by many followers to purchase the social media platform “Twitter”. The deal was finalized on October 27th, 2022 requiring Musk to sell over $4 Billion in his Tesla stock to afford the $44 Billion price tag on Twitter (Isidore, 2022). Since then, Musk has made many changes to the company including massive layoffs of full-time employees and moving the company into the private sector with his other businesses. More recently, in the time leading up to and since the November 8th midterms, Musk began posting his political views and opinions on his newly acquired social media platform to sway voters in the direction he was planning on voting in the midterms. Elon Musk’s actions as CEO of Twitter have become topics of much ethical debate which I will be addressing in regard to how his actions as CEO have affected stockholders, employees, and Twitter users as well as a breakdown of the ethics of this case through lenses of individualism, utilitarianism, Kantianism, and virtue theory.

Ethics Case Controversy

The main controversy, in this case, is held between the following two sides. Musk’s responsibility as CEO of Twitter, a massive mainstream media platform, is to “project apolitical stances” (Satariano, Nov. 8, 2022). This is typical within a corporate culture in that high-ranking members of a company do not typically share their political ideas. CEOs and other high-ranking officers serve in a role where they are a representation of their companies and must act on behalf of that organization, which includes remaining neutral on political matters that could cause a divide among employees or shareholders. By making a political statement on his platform, Musk made some users turn away from the network because they saw that the CEO was expressing ideas that went against their own. In retaliation to his post, many employees of Twitter took to posting their own political opinions on the platform. This only led to more controversy within the company as many of the employees who Musk laid off after coming in were the same employees who took to the platform to speak out against him (Taylor, Nov. 4, 2022). The other side to arguments surrounding Musk’s actions is that he has the right as a user on the platform to be able to say anything he wants as long as his posts remain within Twitter’s user guidelines (Twitter User Agreement, as accessed on November 27, 2022). The idea that a CEO should project apolitical stances has always been the case for any business in the public sector. While Twitter has historically been a publicly traded company, its new positioning in the private sector makes it so that the CEO, Musk, has fewer responsibilities in terms of behaving in a way that benefits shareholders. Another benefit to Musk with taking the company private is that he no longer has to respond to a board of directors. A board of directors would normally hold a CEO to certain standards and to the idea that a CEO should remain “apolitical”. Since Musk does not have the looming threat of being replaced as CEO, he is able to act on the platform in whatever way he pleases so long as he still abides by Twitter’s community guidelines. Overall, Musk has been known to create ethical dilemmas through the management of his companies in the past due to his words and actions as CEO. Now that he is the CEO of the social media platform on which he is making questionable statements, though, the question of whether or not his actions are ethical must be revisited.


The first place to look to see how Musk’s actions have affected Twitter as a company is at the stakeholders. Upon purchasing Twitter, Musk made sure that he paid shareholders a fair market price for the stock. At the time the deal was made, he offered a per-share price that provided a 38% premium to the company’s shareholders (Willing, 2022). This proved to be massively beneficial to anyone holding shares of the company’s stock since before that the company had fallen massively in stock price and many investors were worried that they might lose their investments. These same investors were not only offered a price for their shares 38% above their current standings, but the news caused the price to shoot up over 30% soon after Musk’s announcement, indirectly allowing the worried investors an opportunity to sell in case the deal were to fall through. Since they are not the only investors that have business involvements with the company though, they are not the only people affected. Some big names affected by Twitter’s active user rates include Donald Trump, Apple, and Vanguard. Former President Donald Trump had previously been banned from the site but Musk reactivated his account on November 19, 2022, allowing him access to the 51.8% of polled Twitter users who wanted to see him back on the platform that he had previously used during his presidency to communicate with his large Twitter audience (Wong, 2022). Apple is another major company that Wong explained was affected by Musk’s Twitter takeover. Apple has always been the number one advertiser on Twitter, benefiting Twitter’s stakeholders and the company as a whole with massive Ad revenues. When Musk took over Twitter and began posting his personal opinions on the platform, Apple temporarily halted its advertising on the platform. They have since resumed their Ad campaigns on Twitter which benefits both parties by generating sales for Apple and keeping advertisers around on Twitter since many of the company’s other advertisers held concerns about keeping their advertisements on the platform. Vanguard is a fund management giant that was proven to be the largest shareholder of Twitter’s stock as of March 31, 2022, with 10.29% of the company’s shares (Willing, 2022). They were affected the most, based on pure share volume, by Musk buying out shares in his acquisition of the company.

Twitter revenue displayed over time leading into 
Musk’s takeover. (Iqbal, as accessed December 6, 2022).


Individualism is an economic theory developed by Milton Friedman that states that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business-to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as they… engage in open and free competition, without deception or fraud” (Friedman, 1962). In other words, the main purpose of a business is to make a profit, therefore that should be any company’s most important responsibility and top priority (Desjardins, 2019). With Musk already being the wealthiest person in the world with many thanks to his very successfully run businesses, he made clear early on in the acquisition that he planned on running Twitter under these ideas of individualism. Since he took the company private, wherefrom he operates a number of his other businesses, he no longer has to worry about any interference from a board of directors or shareholders of the company. This freedom allows him to operate under whichever practices he sees fit as long as he remains within the legal confines that all businesses must operate under. The first major action Musk took toward maximizing Twitter’s profits was to lay off a massive amount of full-time employees as reported by Yu on November 5, 2022. Musk claimed that this was an essential step to making Twitter run more efficiently because the company had been losing $4 million at the time of his entry. This is where the ethical problem in this case regarding individualism arose. While Musk did in fact offer 3 months of severance to everyone that received the email that they were being laid off, “which is 50% more than legally required” (Musk, @elonmusk, 2022), he did so with only 1 week’s notice causing an uproar among those fired (Yu, 2022). The timeline of the layoffs became the main concern in question in this case. Although his actions were justified ethically by the idea of individualism, seeing as he was acting in the best interest of the company’s profitability, he did so in a manner that violated the legal limits within which he is bound to operate. Musk went about the layoffs in a manner that he thought to be Text Box: Screenshot of Musk’s Tweet in response to criticism surrounding massive layoffs.excusable because he was offering the laid-off employees greater severance packages than what was legally required of him. This is still illegal though, raising the question of how ethical his actions were because mass layoffs on this scale need to be performed with more notice than he provided the employees regardless of how much severance was being offered (Taylor, 2022).

Screenshot of Musk’s Tweet in response
criticism surrounding massive layoffs.

Utilitarianism is another ethical practice that many businesses adopt and do their best to stand by. The practice requires a business to address the consequences of its actions and measure how ethical they are based on the amount of “good” that action does (Desjardins, 2019). A company under utilitarianism should focus on maximizing the good that it does and attempt to reach as many people as possible with its good actions. In the case of Musk within Twitter, his action of laying off over half of the company’s full-time staff can be seen as unethical based on the idea of utilitarianism. Normally, a company could try and make the argument that it is doing good for its shareholders by maximizing profits and acting under ideas of individualism. Because Musk brought Twitter private as soon as he took over the company, the actions he takes to generate profits for the company have no way of benefiting any public shareholders. The thousands of employees who were left jobless after the massive layoffs, therefore, outweigh any good these actions might have done for the company. Outside of the financials associated with the company, it is important to assess the overall good of Musk’s tweets since becoming CEO. The full effect of these actions has yet to be weighed by any quantifiable metrics, however, they have still begun showing through the reactions of many Twitter users. It is also difficult to determine whether his actions have done more good than bad seeing as his politically based posts have caused a divide among the platform’s users (Satariano, 2022). This divide is made up of people who sided with the opinions Musk posted starting on May 18, 2022, which was later recalled for the November 8, 2022 midterms after he became CEO, and those who disagreed with his political opinions. Among those who sided with Musk’s tweets was former president Donald Trump, who was a representative of the Republican party that Musk had openly sided with in his message on the platform (Wong, 2022). Trump’s account, under Twitter’s previous management, had been banned due to disagreements with Twitter’s “User Agreement Policy” (2022). In response, the side of Twitter that disagreed with Musk’s posts was quick to halt their activity on the platform out of concern for how their own political views would be met by the new management. Although it is impossible to make a choice between which side Musk would have been able to do more good with by supporting, it is still a clearly unethical action for him to take based on utilitarianism because the most “good” would have been done to the most people if he had taken an apolitical stance in the midterm elections as CEO.


Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher who believed that people “should act only according to those maxims that could be universally accepted and acted on” (Desjardins, 2019). More simply put, when translated to business ethics, Kant’s ideas tell us that a business should operate in a manner that respects everyone. An important distinction within this idea is that while a business must respect the independent knowledge that customers and other involved parties have in their decision-making processes, the business also holds a responsibility to uphold the expectations that these parties have while doing business with them. An example of this would be the difference between an online drug retailer posting warnings for a new, possibly harmful drug on their website and respecting the customer’s ability to decide for themself whether they should purchase it and keeping the product off of their shelves altogether out of respect for the customer’s well-being (Salazar, pages 1-13). The question that Kantianism raises, in this case, is whether Elon Musk as CEO of Twitter should have acted more respectfully towards the ideas of all users on his platform. One way to accomplish this would be by abstaining from voicing his political opinion on how people should vote. Kantianism would argue that since Musk’s political views are not “universally accepted and acted on” (Desjardins, 2019. Page 39.), his responsibility as CEO of the company would be to not post his views because the company would be acting controversially. The other argument supporting his actions would be similar to the example of a drug retailer trusting customers to make purchasing decisions independently with the information presented to them by the company. His actions could have been ethically justifiable because users of the platform possess enough individuality and confidence to not need to listen to his opinions on the platform if they disagree with him.

Virtue Theory

Unlike the previously mentioned ethical theories, virtue theory focuses on the characteristics of a person to determine the ethics of that person’s “virtues” (Desjardins, 2019. page 26) instead of looking at actions taken by the company. Many use a person’s virtues to determine whether a person holds strong leadership characteristics that will allow them to behave ethically in a business setting. In order to determine if Musk is capable of leading Twitter in an ethical manner, his character must be broken down into the biggest virtues that make him a good leader and see if they outweigh the characteristics that make him a bad one. Many of Elon Musk’s followers believe him to be a virtuous character due to the actions he takes with his companies, specifically SpaceX and Tesla. With these companies, he makes many attempts at bettering technologies that are key to everyday life for many people. This is a feat that encompasses meaningfulness, which would help better the case that he is a virtuous CEO due to the good he is trying to do for a vast number of people. Another virtue that can be found in the case of Musk posting his political views on Twitter is his honesty. An honest person can be seen as virtuous, and Musk’s transparency with his followers when it comes to his tweets is ethically good since they do not have to worry about being deceived when it comes to his individual actions or the actions of his companies. Contrary to Musk’s actions which can be viewed as good and virtuous, those who have shied away from the platform may find him undisciplined and egoistic. These character traits are considered to be common in unethical behaviors as shown by Desjardins, 2019, page 26. The continual posting of his personal ideas and political standings after taking over the mantle of CEO demonstrates his undisciplined nature. His egoistic behavior can also be seen in these Tweets where he has commonly boasted about his personal achievements and even went so far as to poke fun at other users on the platform (Cassidy, 2022).

Justified Ethics Evaluation

After evaluating the case I feel that Musk’s actions while frustrating many Twitter users, were not unethical. He walks a very thin line as a man who holds so much wealth and influence in the world between acting ethically and irresponsibly. By buying Twitter with the intention of running the company better than its previous owners and promising to loosen restrictions on what users on the platform would be allowed to share, he was serving Twitter users by providing most of them with what they had been asking for from the platform. In this case, where he posted his own political opinions, I think he is demonstrating to the users that under his management people on Twitter will be able to speak their minds freely. Although this is unusual behavior coming from a CEO, not just that of a social media company, I would not go so far as to say that his actions were unethical. In the article “Elon Musk Puts His Own Politics on Display on Election Day”, author Satariano focuses on pointing out what Musk did wrong by voicing his opinions on election day. I think it is still extremely important, though, to acknowledge that Musk is speaking independently from the company in his Tweets. All he has done is exercise the freedom of speech that Twitter is supposed to provide users, therefore not acting unethically even if it was in the poor taste of some of the platform’s users and followers.


Although Elon Musk has become the topic of much heated ethical debate since becoming CEO of Twitter, his actions have become much clearer after evaluating them through lenses of individualism, utilitarianism, Kantianism, and virtue theory. While attempting to better the company financially, its users, and stakeholders, Musk made some personal choices that ended up negatively affecting the actions he was taking as CEO. So, although his actions as CEO have not been made unethically, his actions as a Twitter user on the platform have become arguably unethical due to the consequences they have had on everyone involved with the social media site.




Satariano, Adam, et al. “Elon Musk Puts His Own Politics on Display on Election Day.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 8 Nov. 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/08/technology/elon-musk-twitter-elections.html.

Cassidy, J. (2022, October 28). Beware Elon Musk's Takeover of Twitter. The New Yorker. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/beware-elon-musks-takeover-of-twitter

Isidore, Chris. “Elon Musk Sold Nearly $4 Billion Worth of Tesla Stock since Twitter Deal Closed | CNN Business.” CNN, Cable News Network, 9 Nov. 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/08/business/elon-musk-tesla-stock-sale-twitter-purchase/index.html.

Willing, Nicole and Medleva, Valerie. Twitter stock forecast: Is Twitter a good stock to buy? Twitter Stock Forecast | Is Twitter a Good Stock to Buy? (October 28, 2022). Retrieved November 19, 2022, from https://capital.com/twitter-stock-forecast-will-twtr-go-up

Twitter User Agreement. Twitter, Inc. As accessed on November 27, 2022.

Desjardins, Joseph (2019). Introduction to business ethics. MCGRAW-HILL EDUCATION.

Yu, B. (2022, November 5). Update: Musk claims Twitter losing $4M per day as widespread layoffs begin. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/elon-musk-claims-twitter-losing-4-million-per-day-widespread-layoffs/

Salazar, Heather. Kantian Business Ethics. 1-13.

Wong, Queenie. “Twitter-Musk News Timeline: Musk Lets Trump Back onto Twitter.” CNET, 19 Nov. 2022, www.cnet.com/news/social-media/twitter-musk-news-timeline-musk-summons-engineers-as-worries-of-twitter-crash-grow/.

Musk, Elon. @elonmusk. “Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force…”. Twitter, November 4, 2022, 7:14 PM, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1588671155766194176?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1588671155766194176%7Ctwgr%5E7f2d21c1cbd40e674c1a177b25fb31a5e5806836%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2F. As accessed on November 19, 2022.

Taylor, J. (2022, November 4). Twitter sued by former staff as Elon Musk begins mass sackings. The Guardian. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/04/twitter-sued-by-former-staff-as-elon-musk-begins-mass-sackings

Friedman, Milton. Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), p.133.

Ohnsman, A. (2022, November 24). How elon musk's Twitter takeover is ruining his own myth - and Tesla's stock. Forbes. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2022/11/23/elon-musk-tesla-stock-twitter/?sh=4393b7b96f81

IQBAL, MANSOOR. “Twitter Revenue and Usage Statistics (2018).” Business of Apps, 27 Feb. 2019, www.businessofapps.com/data/twitter-statistics/.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Binance/FTX: The Duality of Man in a Teetering Industry (December 2022)


Binance logo (Image from Binance.com) 


Binance, a cryptocurrency market, tried to bail out FTX, a rival crypto market,

after FTX was found to be misusing client funds. Binance backed out of the deal

after realizing how unethical FTX had been to its customers. This caused a big

crash in the crypto market and sent customers everywhere into a frenzy. FTX

then filed for bankruptcy as the SEC and DOJ started their investigations into

the company. The CEO of FTX was arrested, which shined a light on other

industry heads, specifically the CEO of Binance. Nothing incriminating has

been found yet, but customers are still untrustworthy and have been

withdrawing their balances from the marketplace. Binance put a hold on

withdrawals due to the volume. This has led to further questioning of Binance

by the public. 

Ethics Case Controversy

Binance is the largest cryptocurrency market in the world. Its platform

allows users to buy, sell, and trade crypto tokens online and transact and

earn interest using their tokens. Binance has grown tremendously since

being founded in 2017, handling a total of “$34.1 trillion in trading last

year, even while wrangling with regulators.” (Fortune, 2022)

    The man behind the operation is Chinese-Canadian business executive

Changpeng Zhao. Zhao, a McGill University alumn, was relatively unknown

before becoming “as rich as Mark Zuckerberg virtually overnight.”

(Fortune, 2022) He was ranked as high as 30th on the world’s richest person

list with a net worth of $30 billion, but he has since sunk to 136th with a little

over 13 billion.

    Binance made headlines on November 6th when it liquidated all of its

shares of the FTT token, trading platform FTX’s primary token, sending the

crypto industry into a frenzy. Earlier in the week, on November 2nd, a leaked

report showed that the token's value might be fabricated, and Zhao wanted to

get out before losing value. On November 8th Zhao announced that a deal was

made to save rival marketplace FTX, “one of the largest exchanges for digital

currencies, seemingly on the verge of collapse.” (New York Times 2022) It

appeared as though Zhao and Binance would absorb the second-largest marketplace

and their biggest rival, FTX, and firmly cement their place at the forefront of the

crypto industry. However, not even a day had passed before Zhao put out another

statement explaining that the deal had been scrapped due to how uncomfortable

Binance was with FTX’s financial reporting and suspected them of misusing clients'

funds. On November 11th, as Sam Bankman-Fried resigned as CEO of FTX and

filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Changpeng Zhao spoke to reporters about the

collapse of his rival and what it meant for the industry as a whole, “It's devastating

for the industry. A lot of consumer confidence is shaken. We’ve been set back a

few years.” (CNN, 2022) Zhao compared the collapse of FTX to the 2008 global

financial crisis, saying that FTX would not be the only player to fall, just the first.

    The controversy went quiet for over a month; it was unclear what would happen

in the crypto industry or if Sam Bankman-Fried would even be arrested. However,

on December 12th, “FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested by Bahamian

authorities Monday evening after the United States Attorney for the Southern District

of New York shared a sealed indictment with the Bahamian government, setting the

stage for extradition and U.S. trial for the onetime crypto billionaire at the heart of

the cryptocurrency exchange’s collapse.” (CNBC 2022) This arrest and extradition

was the first action from The Securities and Exchange Commission and The Department

of Justice to hold someone accountable for this whole financial catastrophe. This arrest

led to another withdrawal frenzy, just like the one FTX experienced, but this time it

was Binance and other smaller crypto marketplaces that were being withdrawn from.

In the 24 hours following Sam Bankman-Fried’s arrest, “$3 billion in net withdrawals

flowed out of Binance, according to blockchain analytics firm Nansen.” (Forbes, 2022)

This rush of withdrawals caused Binance to temporarily halt the withdrawal of USDC,

a crypto token tied directly to the value of the US dollar. This worried investors at first,

but Zhao assured everyone through a series of tweets that the halt was a part of a

“token swap” due to the increase in withdrawals outside of regular banking hours.

Standard functionality resumed shortly after. In the aftermath of the Sam Bankman-Fried

Scandal, critics have pressured Zhao to be as transparent about Binance’s financials as

he has pushed others in the industry to be. Zhao tweeted that liabilities are difficult to

audit publicly but that Binance does not owe money to anyone. Changpeng Zhao and

Binance are not being as transparent as consumers would like, especially at a time like

this, but only time will tell what will happen to them.



The stakeholders, in this case, include Binance, founder and CEO of Binance:

Changpeng Zhao; FTX, founder and former CEO of FTX: Sam Bankman-Fried; the

Securities and Exchange Commission, The Department of Justice, current and future customers/shareholders, and the general public. Binance would be on top of the

world following this scandal. Their biggest competitor had destroyed themselves, all

they had to do was follow the rules and be transparent, and they would have been set.

However, they made one of the same mistakes they just watched FTX make.

They needed to be more fully transparent with the public. It is not clear what will

happen to Binance in the future, but one thing is for sure, they must regain the

public’s trust. Changpeng Zhao seemed to be a beacon of hope and trustworthiness,

but people are not so sure after his information-withholding tweets about Binance’s

liabilities. Hopefully, he doesn’t follow Sam Bankman-Fried’s path. FTX is all

but dead and buried, they will never be trusted by consumers, and the only course

of action left is for the company to go away forever. Sam Bankman-Fried was a

huge scumbag, not the crypto-guru everyone thought he was. Hopefully, the

Justice Department is harsher with him than they were with the culprits behind

the 2008 financial crisis. The Securities and Exchange Commission has to wake

up and realize how much of a ticking time bomb crypto is a the moment and

adequately regulate it before more scams like this happen. The Department of

Justice has to put the fear of god in the crypto industry and prosecute

Sam Bankman-Fried to the fullest extent of the law. Current/future customers,

shareholders, and the general public have to look at what happened with FTX

and what has already started to get out about Binance and make informed

decisions about whether or not crypto is a wise venture for them. All the

information is laid before them, and they need to put the lust for money on

the back burner and be wise. 

                                            Changpeng Zhao (Image from TheGuardian.com)


From an individualist perspective, Changpeng Zhao was ethically incorrect.

He tried to sink money into a failing company to bail out his rival and save

people’s investments. This does not line up with the individualist belief that

“Business actions should maximize profits for the owners of a business, but

do so within the law.” (Salazar, 17) Buying out FTX was not a decision that

would maximize profit, and even after backing out of the deal, he still did

nothing to capitalize on the situation. He also would not give up information

about Binance’s financials when asked, which is between lawful and unlawful,

because he is deceptive. He could have offered consumers a transfer deal from

FTX to Binance to bring in new customers and increase profits. He could have

been transparent about finances to guarantee he says within the law. In the eyes

of an individualist, Changpeng Zhao was unethical; he was deceptive and did

not act to maximize profits. 


From a utilitarian’s perspective, Changpeng Zhao’s actions were ethically

beneficial and maximized “happiness in the long run for all conscious beings that

are affected by the business action.” (Salazar, 17) Zhao offered to put his bottom

line “on the line” to buy out FTX and help the affected customers. He may have

been motivated by future profit, but his actions were maximizing happiness

nonetheless. Binance’s actions would be lumped in with Zhao’s and seen as

ethically beneficial. FTX’s actions would be seen as unethical.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s actions would be seen as unethical and minimizing happiness.

The SEC and DOJ would maximize happiness for customers/shareholders and

the general public but minimize happiness for FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, and

arguably the rest of the crypto industry. I believe they would still be viewed as

ethical. The current/future customers, shareholders, and the general public would

come away from the situation feeling net positive about the whole ordeal because

of more awareness and better regulation of the crypto industry.



    Kantianism, developed by Immanuel Kant, an 18th-century philosopher

from Prussia, is a philosophy focused on “the moral permissibility of the action,

as well as the moral worth in the motivation of the action.”(Salazar, 21) The

categorical imperative is the central concept of Kantianism, a test used to evaluate

if an action is morally acceptable. The most basic version of the categorical

imperative is the “formulation of humanity,” which states that actions are morally

unacceptable if people are used as a means to an end. A Kantian would view

Changpeng Zhao as ethically correct because he did not use people as a means

to an end. Sure he has not been as transparent as people would like, but as far

as we can tell, he has not been malicious or used people as a means to an end.

A Kantian would have no issue with Changpeng Zhao’s actions and consider

him ethical. 

Virtue Theory

Virtue theory, developed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, is a philosophical

tool used to determine “a person’s character and assesses whether a person is virtuous

or not. Is the person getting better in life, flourishing, and fulfilling his or her purpose

in life, or not?” (Salazar, 23). Examine the actions of the person in question and

determine if they match up with particular positive ‘virtues’ or harmful ‘vices.’

This can give you much helpful information about them. There are four main or

‘cardinal’ virtues; courage, temperance, justice/fairness, and honesty. Courage focuses

on standing up for the right things. Changpeng Zhao stood up for the people when

he offered to buy out FTX, so he would be considered virtuous. Temperance focuses

on moderation in action and being realistic. Changpeng Zhao knew it was too risky

to follow through with the buyout and could jeopardize his own company; therefore,

he would be considered virtuous. Justice focuses on suitable products and good practices.

Binance was the most prominent crypto marketplace and offered all the features

a customer could ask for; Zhao would be considered virtuous. Honesty focuses on

being truthful with the general public, your customers, employees, and other

businesses. Changpeng Zhao has not been as open and transparent as the public

would like him to be and would not be considered virtuous. The Virtue Theory

would consider Changpeng Zhao as virtuous overall. 

Justified Ethics Evaluation

After studying the FTX and Binance sides of this case, I am ashamed to have

been so naive when I did my paper on FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried. It is clear

now that he was highly unethical, and I was too scared to condemn him then.

I can’t believe I was against jail time for SBF and the other executives involved.

Regarding Changpeng Zhao, I agree with the ethics evaluation and believe

him to be an ethical person. He is on a slippery slope, though. If he doesn’t

become more transparent and be proactive in conforming to new regulations, he

will get burned as well. Watching this situation unfold in real time as I completed

these reports was unbelievable. I never thought Sam Bankman-Fried would be

brought to justice while I was still working. I hope I am not wrong about

Changpeng Zhao, like I was wrong about SBF. He should be investigated

thoroughly due to his involvement and clean up his act so that consumers

are better protected. I am sure that the proper regulations will be created due

to this fiasco.

                                    Sam Bankman-Fried arrested (Image from cryptotimes.io)


The public can rest easier tonight knowing there was justice in this case;

Sam Bankman-Fried will be punished for his actions. It is unclear who will join

him or what his punishment will be, but the crypto industry will be better regulated;

as a result, further protecting future customers. Unfortunately, only some people are

walking away from this scandal better off than before, but there will be correct laws

going forward. As far as we can tell, the head of the crypto industry still standing

is ethical and a much better person than SBF; hopefully, it stays that way.


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U.S. Files Criminal Charges.” CNBC, CNBC, 14 Dec. 2022,



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