Not disagreeing with your overall point, but if my non-EA aligned, low-level crypto trader friend is any indication, then there certainly was reason to believe that SBF was at the very least doing some shady things. In August, I asked this friend for his thoughts on SBF, and this is what he replied:
“He’s obviously super smart but comes across a bit evil while trying to portray the good guy front. His exchange is notorious for liquidating user positions, listing shit coins thats prices trend to zero. He also founded Alameda research (trading / market maker firm) alongside FTX (the exchange). Alameda are one of the biggest crypto trading firms with predatory reputation. There’s also the issue of barely any divide between the exchange and the trading firm so alameda likely sees a lot of exchange data that gives them an edge trading on FTX vs other users.”
The irony is that this friend lost most of his savings because he was a FTX user.