The former FTX chief said he would be speaking at a conference for the New York Times, the same group that wrote the recent article on Bankman-Fried. Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has enraged the crypto community again, this time for his planned appearance at a conference in New York City on November 30. Vocal Crypto Twitter members have wondered why the former CEO of the now-bankrupt exchange remains at large, given the past month’s events.
In a January 23 Twitter post, Bankman-Fried announced that she would speak with New York Times journalist Andrew Sorkin at the DealBook summit “next Wednesday.” Sorkin publicly confirmed the news, saying, “There are many important questions that need to be asked and answered.” Nothing is off-limits. After the collapse of FTX, some in the community had questioned whether Bankman-Fried would be able to meet his conference commitments, including the DealBook Summit. A New York Times spokesperson confirmed that Bankman-Fried was invited to his DealBook summit a few months ago, well before FTX went bankrupt, and that he would most likely be attending the interview virtually from the Bahamas, explaining:
“Several months ago, we invited Mr. Bankman-Fried to be interviewed at the Summit. At this time, we anticipate Mr. Bankman-Fried will participate in the interview from the Bahamas.”
According to a November 11 Gawker report, Bankman-Fried was previously listed as “C.O., FTX” on the speaker’s page. However, the spokesperson’s site now reveals that his title has been updated to “Founder, FTX,” reflecting his resignation since FTX filed for bankruptcy.
Crypto Twitter responds
Some crypto community members have reacted negatively to the news, suggesting that Bankman-Fried should be arrested instead of speaking freely at conferences.
U.S. Attorney John Deaton, the founder of Crypto Law, told his 229,300 Twitter followers that if U.S. law enforcement does not arrest and charge Bankman-Fried, who is currently in the Bahamas, for fraud and theft offenses if he enters the U.S. next week, the justice system will be “compromised.”
Layah Heilpern, a British media personality and Bitcoin supporter told her 328,200 Twitter followers that it’s “disgusting” that Bankman-Fried will be speaking on stage rather than being detained. The crypto community recently chastised the New York Times for publishing a “puff piece on SBF” that appeared to gloss over Bankman-alleged Fried’s fraud and crimes and instead focused on whether he was getting enough sleep.
Crypto Crib shared images with its 66,900 Twitter followers late on November 23 of what appears to be Bankman-Fried eating a meal with his mother and several others at his Bahamas penthouse.
On November 23, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, his assistant Kenneth Polite, and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse asked the U.S. Department of Justice to launch a full-scale investigation into Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives’ roles in FTX’s demise.