FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried can not promise when he will appear before the United States Congress to testify on the collapse of his multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange, but he agreed to make the appearance after he has reviewed the circumstances on how the events unfolded.
“Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain,” the former FTX CEO wrote on Twitter.
“I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify.”
He was responding to a polite tweet by Maxine Waters, the Democratic congresswoman who chairs the Financial Services Committee.
“We appreciate that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at FTX. Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors and others.
“To that end, we would welcome your participation in our hearing on the 13th.”
Last month the committee announced it wanted to meet directly with Bankman-Fried and his executive team stating that the collapse of FTX harmed a million users who invested “their hard-earned savings” into the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, “only to watch it all disappear within a matter of seconds.”
But Water’s latest tweet requesting Bankman-Fried’s presence drew strong criticism with some users stating that it appears not to hold Bankman-Fried accountable for the billions of dollars in customer funds lost on his platform.
Jake Chervinsky said, “I am certain that factfinding will show that SBFTX has not in fact been candid in his discussions. He committed fraud, full stop.”
Another said, “Imagine stealing Bernie Madoff-level money and being politely asked to participate in a congressional hearing. This is what corruption looks like.”
And another social media user said, “I hope folks are paying attention to all of this, eyes open. The entire system is corrupt on all levels.”
Many speculate that Bankman-Fried will not be held accountable since he was the second largest donor of the Democratic party contributing nearly $30 million to the party’s primary elections and was reported to have given $5 million to President Joe Biden’s campaign when he ran for the post against Trump.
Authorities in the USA and the Bahamas said they are investigating the handling of customer funds believed to be misappropriated when Bankman-Fried borrowed billions of dollars from FTX to use in his sister company Alameda Research.