A PYMNTS Company

FTX Founder Will Testify Before Congress

 |  December 5, 2022

FTX’s founder has indicated he’ll eventually appear before a congressional committee investigating his company.

On Twitter Sunday (Dec. 4), Sam Bankman-Fried responded to Rep. Maxine Waters’ invitation last week to appear before the House Financial Services Committee on Dec. 13 as it investigates last month’s collapse of the cryptocurrency company he founded.

“Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain,” wrote Bankman-Fried. “I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th.  But when it does, I will testify.”

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FTX filed for bankruptcy last month after an acquisition by rival crypto company Binance fell apart. Soon after, Bankman-Fried was accused of using FTX customer deposits to prop up sister company Alameda Research, and the exchange saw a run in which investors withdrew $6 billion in a matter of days.

Related: CFTC Meets With FTX About Changing Regulations

The fallout led to a worldwide wave of regulatory and criminal investigations into the company and Bankman Fried, including the bipartisan House committee hearing on Dec. 13.

Waters, a Democrat from California who chairs the House committee, invited Bankman-Fried to testify last week, saying the committee “appreciates that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at FTX. Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors, and others.”

Bankman-Fried has already shown a willingness to talk, PYMNTS noted last week, as the founder spoke with The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin at the media outlet’s DealBook Summit, where he was featured as a marquee guest.

During the interview, Bankman-Fried said a few times that he had “screwed up” but struggled to answer when asked about criminal liability.

“There’s a time and place for me to think about myself and my own future. I don’t think this is it,” Bankman-Fried said.

He also argued that what happened at FTX was primarily a risk management problem, that the losses were funds that the firm’s clients had lost on margin and FTX was required to cover and that he was allowed to cover those losses with money from other clients.