Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried agreed to testify before the House Financial Services Committee next week in an attempt to uncover what caused the cryptocurrency company’s downfall. Bankman-Fried, who often goes by “SBF” posted a tweet on Friday saying he is “willing” to testify but says he won’t bring much to the table.
He wrote, “I still do not have access to much of my data — professional or personal. So there is a limit to what I will be able to say, and I won’t be as helpful as I’d like.” The information he says he hopes to assist with includes FTX’s “solvency and American customers,” why he thinks FTX crashed, and the pathways in which the ex-company could explore to “return value to users internationally,” as well as how he failed the company.
Committee chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) said Bankman-Fried’s appearance was “imperative” in the proceedings and tweeted this week that a subpoena was on the table should he not agree to testify.
Bankman-Fried resigned as the FTX CEO on November 11, the same day the company filed for bankruptcy after a CoinDesk article revealed a large amount of self-issued FTT tokens were being used to prop up Alameda Research, his own crypto trading firm. SBF has said he didn’t “knowingly commingle funds.”
Since his resignation, allegations of inadequate risk management, poor governance, and inappropriate use of customer funds have emerged.
Bankman-Fried declined to immediately testify in a tweet earlier this month, saying he wanted more time to review what caused FTX’s undoing, but Waters pushed back, writing in the tweet, “Based on your role as CEO and your media interviews over the past few weeks, it’s clear to us that the information you have thus far is sufficient for testimony.”
The Senate Banking Committee wants to hear from SBF too. In a letter issued to him this week, Chairman Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) asked him to appear before the committee because of “significant unanswered questions” surrounding FTX’s collapse and its involvement with Alameda, which filed for bankruptcy on the same day.
“You must answer for the failure of both entities that was caused, at least in part, by the clear misuse of client funds and wiped out billions of dollars owed to over a million creditors,” the senators wrote.
SBF has apologized to those who invested in FTX and said he hopes others “can learn from the difference between who I was and who I could have been.”
While he’s been quick to say sorry, what lawmakers really want is for him to explain what actually happened. The House committee hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET on December 14.