Sam Bankman-Fried, Founder and Managing Director of FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange, during a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee hearing in Washington, DC on Wednesday, February 9, 2022.
Sarah Silbiger | Bloomberg | Getty Images
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried agreed to testify before the House Financial Services Committee during a hearing into the crypto exchange’s collapse on Tuesday, he said in a series of tweets. Friday morning.
There has been a lot of back-and-forth in Washington over whether lawmakers should subpoena Bankman-Fried, who said he would testify voluntarily because the committee “still thinks it would be helpful.” It was unclear whether he would report to Capitol Hill in person or stay in the Bahamas where he has been locked up most of the time since his company filed for bankruptcy last month, holding interviews with reporters .
In his tweet thread, the disgraced former crypto “darling” appears to blame Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.
The ex-FTX CEO took part in a media blitz last month to talk about the implosion of his crypto empire, but this will be the first time the public will have a chance to hear from SBF under oath.
Bankman-Fried wrote that he still had no access to much of his data, work or personal, so there was a “limit” to what he would be able to say.
“I won’t be as helpful as I would like. But as the committee still thinks it would be helpful, I am ready to testify on the 13th,” the message continued.
Bankman-Fried used his tweet thread to antagonize Binance boss Zhao, saying he “won” and that the restrictions Zhao wanted to impose as part of Binance’s failed bailout were excessively onerous.
Bankman-Fried didn’t think there were any winners, he said in a tweet.
“Seeing how CZ talks, I’m pretty sure he does,” Bankman-Fried continued.
“Sam was so off balance when we decided to withdraw as an investor that he launched a series of offensive tirades against several members of the Binance team,” Zhao wrote on Twitter. thread.
In the days leading up to FTX’s collapse, Zhao was touted as a potential savior for the exchange. FTX was once considered the most stable and trusted crypto exchange in the industry, but a CoinDesk article has revealed an alarming concentration of self-issued FTT tokens being used as collateral for billions in loans for Alameda Research, the hedge fund Bankman-Fried cryptography. . The article, coupled with Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison’s tweeting activity, sent FTX into a liquidity crunch.
Bankman-Fried was responding to a series of tweets posted by Zhao explaining why Binance dropped the potential takeover bid. When Binance pulled out, FTX went into a tailspin, eventually filing for bankruptcy soon after.
Zhao fired Bankman-Fried for spending sprees on vanity projects ranging from marketing to “mansions.” He was responding to a Thursday morning appearance by CNBC contributor Kevin O’Leary on “Squawk Box.”
O’Leary had said he had lost his entire $15 million salary and was embarrassed by his lack of due diligence.
Bankman-Fried has played coy with lawmakers, despite a threat to subpoena him from the Senate Finance Committee this week and repeated requests from House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters, D-California, to testify under oath at the hearing of this panel.
Investors and regulators have been waiting for answers from Bankman-Fried for some time. Despite several high profile appearances in the media and Twitter spaces, the former billionaire has revealed little about the last chaotic days at FTX.
A growing number of investors and pundits believe the only place Bankman-Fried should be is in jail. Legal experts CNBC spoke to said his sentence could hypothetically be lifelong, if convicted.
Before Bankman-Fried agreed to testify, CNBC reported that Waters did not plan to subpoena the ex-billionaire. Waters pushed back, saying a subpoena was “absolutely” on the table.
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