Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has once again attracted the ire of the crypto community — this time over his slated appearance at an upcoming New York City conference on Nov. 30.
Vocal members of Crypto Twitter have questioned why the former CEO of the now-bankrupt exchange continues to walk free, given the events over the last month.
Bankman-Fried posted the following tweet on Nov. 23, 2013. announced he will be speaking with The New York Times journalist Andrew Sorkin at the DealBook Summit “next Wednesday.”
The news was confirmed publicly by Sorkin, who said: “There are a lot of important questions to be asked and answered. Nothing is off limits.”
There are many important questions that need to be answered.
There are no limits to what you can do.
Looking forward to it… https://t.co/lShAqXLKGS
— Andrew Ross Sorkin (@andrewrsorkin) November 23, 2022
Some people in the community were concerned that Bankman-Fried would not honor his conference engagements following the collapse of FTX.
A spokesperson for The New York Times confirmed to Cointelegraph that Bankman-Fried was invited to its DealBook Summit several months ago — well before the FTX crash — and that he’d likely be participating in the interview virtually from the Bahamas, stating:
“We invited Mr. Bankman-Fried to be interviewed at the Summit several months ago. At this time, we expect Mr. Bankman-Fried will be participating in the interview from the Bahamas.”
According to a Gawker report dated Nov. 11, Bankman-Fried was previously listed on the speaker page as “C.E.O, FTX.” However, the speaker page now shows his title has since been updated to “Founder, FTX” — reflecting his resignation from the role since FTX’s bankruptcy filing.
Crypto Twitter Responds
Some crypto community members haven’t taken the news well with comments that Bankman-Fried should not be free to speak at conferences but rather in custody.
U.S. Attorney John Deaton and founder of Crypto Law remarked to his 229,300 Twitter followers that if U.S. law enforcement doesn’t arrest and charge Bankman-Fried — who’s currently situated in the Bahamas — for fraud and theft offenses if he enters the U.S. next week, then the justice system “has been compromised.”
Let me make this clear if SBF isn’t arrested and charged with fraud, wire-fraud, theft, and possibly money laundering before and instead gets to spew out his bullshit narrative, our system of justice has been compromised. @ewarren You claim to be for the small guy. Where are you? https://t.co/cdmOa7U0an
— John E Deaton (@JohnEDeaton1) November 23, 2022
British media personality and Bitcoin proponent Layah Heilpern told her 328,200 Twitter followers that “it’s disgusting” that Bankman-Fried will be speaking on stage and instead isn’t being held in custody.
It is amazing that he will be speaking at a conference instead of being held in custody for fraud and theft investigations.
He’s an agent of the establishment. It’s disgusting. https://t.co/x3gCZvLQXI
— Layah Heilpern (@LayahHeilpern) November 23, 2022
Ryan Adams, founder of investment firm Mythos Capital and Bankless took things one step further in comparing the arrest and three-month-long detainment of Alexey Pertsev — the core developer behind the now U.S.-sanctioned Tornado Cash — to Bankman-Fried’s unfathomable conduct, which has yet to be investigated.
Alexey Pertsev, who wrote open-source privacy codes in the meantime, is still being held in jail. pic.twitter.com/CWRfAknFx8
— RYAN SΞAN ADAMS – rsa.eth (@RyanSAdams) November 23, 2022
Meanwhile, chairman of Real Bedford FC and Bitcoin proponent Peter McCormack joked that Bankman-Fried would receive “a Nobel Prize at this rate.”
This rate will see SBF win the Nobel Prize
— Peter McCormack☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) November 24, 2022
Related: SBF could be held responsible for mismanaging FTX. Don’t count on it
The New York Times was recently criticized by the crypto community for writing a “puff piece on SBF,” which appeared to only brush over Bankman-Fried alleged fraud and crimes and instead focused on whether he was getting enough sleep.
As for Bankman-Fried’s current whereabouts, Crypto Crib posted pictures to its 66,900 Twitter followers late on Nov. 23 of what appears to be Bankman-Fried eating a meal with his mother and several others at his Bahamas penthouse.
On Nov. 23, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Merrick’s assistant Kenneth Polite and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse requested for the U.S. Department of Justice to launch a full-scale investigation into Bankman-Fried and other FTX executive’s roles in the collapse of FTX.
Updated at 2:30am UTC Nov. 24, 2009: Added a statement by a spokesperson from The New York Times.