FTX founder Bankman-Fried to testify before US House panel
FTXse Sam Bankman-Fried will testify before a American house committee, the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange and the congressional panel said Friday as regulators probe its role in the wake of its collapse.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, Maxine Waterstold Reuters on Thursday she was prepared to sue Bankman-Fried if he did not agree to appear before the panel, which is holding a hearing as part of its investigation into FTX.
In a statement late Friday, the panel said it would hear from the newly appointed CEO of FTX John Ray and from Bankman-Fried, FTX’s founder and former CEO.
“I still don’t have access to a lot of my data – professional or personal. So there’s a limit to what I’ll be able to say, and I won’t be as helpful as I’d like,” Bankman-Fried tweeted Friday said.
“But since the committee still thinks it will be useful, I am prepared to testify on the 13th,” he added.
The hybrid hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET (1500 GMT), the committee said.
In recent weeks, US authorities have sought information from investors and potential investors in FTX, two sources with knowledge of the requests told Reuters. Prosecutors and regulators have not charged Bankman-Fried with any crime.
US Department of Justice Officials met with FTX’s court-appointed supervisors this week to investigate whether hundreds of millions of dollars were improperly transferred to the Bahamas, where FTX is based, around the same time the crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy in Delaware, Bloomberg reported late Friday .
Both FTX and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment on the report.
CRYPTO PIONEERS SLAY
FTX filed for bankruptcy last month and Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO, after traders pulled $6 billion from the platform in three days and rival exchange Binance dropped a rescue deal.
Reuters detailed the bitter rivalry between Bankman-Fried and Binance’s CEO last month Changpeng Zhaowhich competed for market share in the months before FTX’s demise.
Public tension between the two erupted again on Friday after a string of tweets by Zhao.
Zhao said that after Binance, an early investor in FTX, tried to exit its stake more than one-and-a-half years ago, Bankman-Fried made “offensive tirades” against Binance team members.
Binance sold back its stake in the company to FTX last year.
In response, Bankman-Fried wrote: “We started discussions about buying you out, and we decided to do it because it was important to our business.”
“You threatened to walk at the last minute if we didn’t kick in an extra ~$75 million,” he added. “You didn’t even have the rights to pull out as an investor unless we chose to buy you out – a lot of the tokens/equity was still locked.”
“Not that it matters now. Nor can you force us to sell if we don’t want to,” Zhao replied.
“It was never a competition or fight. Nobody won.”