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 New York City conference on November 30.
Vocal members of Crypto Twitter have questioned why the former CEO of the now bankrupt exchange continues to walk free given the events of the past month.
In a Twitter on November 23 mailBankman-Fried announced that he will speak 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 forbidden.”
The answer is yes.
There are many important questions to be asked and answered.
Nothing is forbidden.
Looking forward to it… https://t.co/lShAqXLKGS
— Andrew Ross Sorkin (@andrewrsorkin) 23 November 2022
In the wake of the FTX collapse, some in the community had wondered whether Bankman-Fried would honor his conference engagements, including his at the DealBook Summit.
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 would likely participate in the interview virtually from the Bahamas, saying:
“We invited Mr. Bankman-Fried to be interviewed at the summit several months ago. At this time, we expect Mr. Bankman-Fried to participate in the interview from the Bahamas.”
According to a Gawker report dated Nov. 11, Bankman-Fried was previously listed on the speaker page as “CEO, FTX.” However, the speaker page now shows that his title has since been updated to “Gründer, FTX,” – reflecting his resignation from the role since FTX’s bankruptcy filing.
Crypto Twitter responds
Some members of the crypto community have not taken the news well, with remarks that Bankman-Fried should be in custody instead of speaking freely at conferences.
US Attorney John Deaton and founder of Crypto Law noted to his 229,300 Twitter followers that if US law enforcement does not arrest and charge Bankman-Fried – who is currently in the Bahamas – with fraud and theft crimes if he enters the US next week, then the legal system “has been compromised.”
Let me make this clear if the SBF is not arrested and charged with fraud, wire fraud, theft and possibly money laundering before and instead spews its bullshit narrative, our justice system has been compromised. @ewarren you claim to be for the little guy where are you https://t.co/cdmOa7U0an
— John E Deaton (@JohnEDeaton1) 23 November 2022
British media personality and Bitcoin campaigner Layah Heilpern told her 328,200 Twitter followers that “it’s disgusting” that Bankman-Fried should speak on stage and instead not be held in custody.
The fact that he’s going to be speaking on stage at a goddamn conference instead of in custody being investigated for fraud and theft is unbelievable.
He is an agent of the establishment. It’s disgusting. https://t.co/x3gCZvLQXI
— Layah Heilpern (@LayahHeilpern) 23 November 2022
Ryan Adams, founder of investment firm Mythos Capital and Bankless took things a step further, comparing the arrest and three-month detention of Alexey Pertsev – the core developer behind the now US-sanctioned Tornado Cash – to Bankman-Fried’s unfathomable behaviour, which has yet to be investigated .
Alexey Pertsev remains in prison without charge for writing privacy open source code meanwhile… pic.twitter.com/CWRfAknFx8
— RYAN SΞAN ADAMS – rsa.eth (@RyanSAdams) 23 November 2022
Meanwhile, Real Bedford FC chairman and Bitcoin supporter Peter McCormack joked that Bankman-Fried would receive “a Nobel Prize at this rate.”
SBF will receive a Nobel Prize at this rate
— Peter McCormack☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) 24 November 2022
Related: Will SBF face consequences for mishandling 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 merely gloss over Bankman-Fried’s alleged fraud and crimes, focusing instead on whether he was getting enough sleep.
As for Bankman-Fried’s current whereabouts, Crypto Crib posted photos to its 66,900 Twitter followers late on November 23 of what appears to be Bankman-Fried having a meal with her mother and several others in the penthouse his in the Bahamas.
On 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 into Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives’ roles in the collapse of FTX.
Update 02:30 UTC November 24: Added a statement from a spokesperson for The New York Times.