Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has once again drawn the ire of the crypto community – this time for his scheduled appearance at an upcoming conference in New York City on November 30.
Vocal members of Crypto Twitter have questioned why the former CEO of the now-bankrupt exchange is still on the loose given the events of the past month.
In a Twitter dated Nov. 23 afterBankman-Fried announced he will speak with The New York Times journalist Andrew Sorkin at the DealBook Summit “next Wednesday.”
The news was publicly confirmed by Sorkin, who said: “There are many important questions that need to be asked and answered. Nothing is forbidden.”
The answer is yes.
There are many important questions that need to be asked and answered.
Nothing is off limits.
Looking forward to it… https://t.co/lShAqXLKGS
—Andrew Ross Sorkin (@andrewrsorkin) November 23, 2022
In the wake of the FTX’s collapse, some in the community had questioned whether Bankman-Fried would live up to its conference commitments, including the one at the DealBook Summit.
A spokesperson for The New York Times confirmed to Cointelegraph that Bankman-Fried was invited to the DealBook Summit several months ago — well before the FTX crash — and would likely join the interview virtually from the Bahamas, stating:
“We invited Mr. Bankman-Fried for an interview at the summit several months ago. At this point, we expect Mr. Bankman-Fried to participate in the interview from the Bahamas.”
According to a November 11 Gawker report, Bankman-Fried was previously listed on the speakers page as “CEO, FTX.” However, the speaker page now shows that his title has since been updated to “Founder, FTX,” – reflecting his resignation from the position since FTX’s bankruptcy filing.
Crypto Twitter responds
Some members of the crypto community have not taken the news well, commenting that Bankman-Fried should be taken into custody instead of speaking freely at conferences.
US attorney John Deaton and founder of Crypto Law commented to his 229,300 Twitter followers that if US police do not arrest and charge Bankman-Fried, who currently resides in the Bahamas, with fraud and theft when he enters the US next week, then the justice system is “endangered”.
Let me make this clear if SBF isn’t sooner arrested and charged with fraud, wire fraud, theft and possibly money laundering and instead spews his bullshit story, 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) November 23, 2022
Layah Heilpern, the British media personality and Bitcoin proponent, told her 328,200 Twitter followers that “it is disgusting” that Bankman-Fried will speak on stage and not be held in custody instead.
The fact that he will be speaking on stage at a fucking conference instead of being taken into custody and being investigated for fraud and theft is unbelievable.
He’s an agent of the establishment. It’s disgusting. https://t.co/x3gCZvLQXI
— Layah Heilpern (@LayahHeilpern) November 23, 2022
Ryan Adams, founder of investment firm Mythos Capital and Bankless, took it a step further by comparing the arrest and three-month detention of Alexey Pertsev – the core developer behind the now US-sanctioned Tornado Cash – to the inscrutable behavior of Bankman-Fried , which still needs to be investigated.
Alexey Pertsev is still in jail without charge for writing open source privacy code… pic.twitter.com/CWRfAknFx8
— RYAN SΞAN ADAMS – rsa.eth (@RyanSAdams) November 23, 2022
Meanwhile, Real Bedford FC chairman and Bitcoin proponent Peter McCormack joked that Bankman-Fried would receive “a Nobel Prize at this rate.”
At this rate, SBF will get a Nobel Prize
— Peter McCormack☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) November 24, 2022
Related: Will SBF be affected by mismanaging FTX? Don’t count on it
The New York Times was recently criticized by the crypto community for writing a “puff piece about SBF,” which seemed to ignore only Bankman-Fried’s alleged frauds 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 Nov. 23 of what appears to be Bankman-Fried eating a meal with his mother and several others at his penthouse in the Bahamas.
On November 23, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Merrick’s aide Kenneth Polite, and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse requested that the U.S. Justice Department launch a full-scale investigation into the role of Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives at the collapse of FTX.
Update 2:30 UTC Nov 24: Added a statement from a spokesperson for The New York Times.