FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried promised to testify before Congress after he finished “learning and reviewing” the events that caused the popular cryptocurrency exchange to file for bankruptcy last month.
Bankman-Fried’s promise was made in response to a tweet from House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) last week calling on him to join the committee’s hearing on FTX’s collapse on December 13th. But Bankman-Fried didn’t commit to testifying at the hearing scheduled for next week.
“Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain,” Bankman-Fried said in a tweet on Sunday. “I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify.”
Bankman-Fried resigned as FTX’s chief executive last month, a move that could hinder his ability to fully review internal company materials before agreeing to testify.
Since the November implosion of FTX, Bankman-Fried has gone on a sweeping media tour, speaking with podcast hosts and addressing the New York Times’ DealBook summit audience for over an hour last week. But unlike in media interviews, Bankman-Fried would be required to testify under oath to the committee, making it unlawful for him to make intentionally false claims to lawmakers.
Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee held the first congressional hearing analyzing FTX’s collapse last week. The hearing focused on possible legislation aimed at regulating the crypto industry. Specifically, lawmakers discussed the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act, or DCCPA, a bill that would ban crypto exchanges from commingling customer and corporate money.
The DCCPA was sponsored by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Boozman (R-AR) earlier this year, and it received massive support from Bankman-Fried himself. If enacted, the bill would expand the US’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s role in overseeing the crypto industry alongside the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Still, CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam urged lawmakers to continue to review the legislation. “Given the circumstances of the past few weeks, I think we should take a pause and look at the bill and make sure there are no gaps or no holes,” Behnam said.