Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has once again drawn the ire of the crypto community – this time over his scheduled appearance at an upcoming conference in New York on the 30th.
Vocal members of Crypto Twitter questioned why the company’s former CEO now bankrupt stock market continues to walk free given the events of the past month.
On Twitter dated November 23 postBankman-Fried announced that she will be speaking with The New York Times journalist Andrew Sorkin at the DealBook Summit “next Wednesday.”
The news was publicly confirmed by Sorkin, who said, “There are a lot of important questions that need to be asked and answered. Nothing is off limits.”
The answer is yes.
Many important questions need to be asked and answered.
Nothing is off limits.
Look forward to it… https://t.co/lShAqXLKGS
— Andrew Ross Sorkin (@andrewrsorkin) November 23, 2022
After the FTX collapse, some in the community wondered whether Bankman-Fried would follow through on its conference commitments, including the one at the DealBook Summit.
A spokesperson for The New York Times confirmed to Cointelegraph that Bankman-Fried was invited to his DealBook Summit several months ago – long before the FTX crash – and that he will likely be participating in the conversation virtually from the Bahamas, stating:
“We invited Mr. Bankman-Fried for an interview at the Summit several months ago. At this point, we expect Mr. Bankman-Fried to attend the interview from the Bahamas.”
According to Gawker message dated Nov. 11, Bankman-Fried was previously listed on the speakers page as “CEO, FTX.” However, the speaker’s page now shows that his title has since been updated to “Founder, FTX” – reflecting his resignation from that role since FTX’s bankruptcy announcement.
Crypto Twitter responds
Some members of the crypto community did not take the news well, with remarks that Bankman-Fried should be in custody instead of speaking freely at conferences.
U.S. attorney John Deaton and founder of Crypto Law noted to his 229,300 Twitter followers that unless U.S. law enforcement arrests and charges Bankman-Fried — currently in the Bahamas — with fraud and theft if he enters the U.S. next week , then the justice system was “compromised”.
Let me make this clear, if SBF is not arrested and charged with fraud, wire fraud, theft and possibly money laundering sooner and starts spewing his nonsensical narrative instead, our justice system has been compromised. @ewarren you claim you are for the little boy where are you https://t.co/cdmOa7U0an
— John E Deaton (@JohnEDeaton1) November 23, 2022
British media personality and bitcoin advocate Layah Heilpern told her 328,200 Twitter followers that it was “disgusting” that Bankman-Fried would be speaking on stage and not being held in custody instead.
The fact that he’s going to be speaking on stage at a damn conference rather than in custody being investigated for fraud and theft is beyond belief.
He is 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, has gone one step further compared to others the arrest and three-month imprisonment of Alexei Pertsev — lead developer behind now USA has sanctioned Tornado Cash — to Bankman-Fried’s erratic behavior, which is still under investigation.
Alexey Pertsev is still in jail without charges for writing open source private code in the meantime… pic.twitter.com/CWRfAknFx8
— RYAN SΞAN ADAMS – rsa.eth (@RyanSAdams) November 23, 2022
Meanwhile, Real Bedford FC chairman and bitcoin supporter Peter McCormack joked that Bankman-Fried would get a “Nobel Prize at this rate”.
SBF will get a Nobel Prize at this rate
— Peter McCormack☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) November 24, 2022
The New York Times was recently criticized by the crypto community for writing an “opinion on SBF” that appeared to merely brush off Bankman-Fried’s alleged fraud and crimes, focusing instead on whether he is getting enough sleep.
As for Bankman-Fried’s current whereabouts, Crypto Crib posted images to his 66,900 Twitter followers late on November 23 of what appears to be Bankman-Fried eating with his mother and several others at his hideaway in the Bahamas.
November 23 US Attorney General Merrick Garland, Merrick’s Assistant Kenneth Polite and US Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse asked the US Department of Justice to launch a full-scale investigation to Bankman-Fried and other FTX management roles in the collapse of FTX.
Update 2:30 UTC November 24: Added a spokesperson’s statement in The New York Times.