Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has once again attracted the ire of the crypto community — this time over his slated appearance at an upcoming New York City conference on Nov. 30.
Vocal members of Crypto Twitter have questioned why the former CEO of the now-bankrupt exchange continues to walk free, given the events over the last month.
In a Nov. 23 Twitter post, Bankman-Fried announced he will be speaking 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 off limits.”
A lot of folks have been asking if I would still be interviewing @SBF_FTX at the @nytimes @dealbook Summit on Nov 30…— Andrew Ross Sorkin (@andrewrsorkin) November 23, 2022
The answer is yes.
There are a lot of important questions to be asked and answered.
Nothing is off limits.
Looking forward to it… https://t.co/lShAqXLKGS
In the wake of the FTX collapse, some in the community had wondered whether Bankman-Fried would honor his conference engagements, including his one 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’d likely be participating in the interview virtually from the Bahamas, stating:
“We invited Mr. Bankman-Fried to be interviewed at the Summit several months ago. At this time, we expect Mr. Bankman-Fried will be participating in the interview from the Bahamas.”
According to a Gawker report dated Nov. 11, Bankman-Fried was previously listed on the speaker page as “C.E.O, FTX.” However, the speaker page now shows his title has since been updated to “Founder, 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.
U.S. Attorney John Deaton and founder of Crypto Law remarked to his 229,300 Twitter followers that if U.S. law enforcement doesn’t arrest and charge Bankman-Fried — who’s currently situated in the Bahamas — for fraud and theft offenses if he enters the U.S. next week, then the justice system “has been compromised.”
Let me make this clear if SBF isn’t arrested and charged with fraud, wire-fraud, theft, and possibly money laundering before and instead gets to spew out his bullshit narrative, our system of justice 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
British media personality and Bitcoin proponent Layah Heilpern told her 328,200 Twitter followers that “it’s disgusting” that Bankman-Fried will be speaking on stage and instead isn’t being held in custody.
The fact he is going to be speaking on stage at a damn conference rather than in custody being investigated for fraud and theft is incredible.— Layah Heilpern (@LayahHeilpern) November 23, 2022
He’s an agent of the establishment. It’s disgusting. https://t.co/x3gCZvLQXI
Ryan Adams, founder of investment firm Mythos Capital and Bankless took things one step further in comparing the arrest and three-month-long detainment of Alexey Pertsev — the core developer behind the now U.S.-sanctioned Tornado Cash — to Bankman-Fried’s unfathomable conduct, which has yet to be investigated.
Alexey Pertsev is still sitting in jail without charges for writing open source privacy code meanwhile... pic.twitter.com/CWRfAknFx8— RYAN SΞAN ADAMS - rsa.eth (@RyanSAdams) November 23, 2022
Meanwhile, chairman of Real Bedford FC and Bitcoin proponent Peter McCormack joked that Bankman-Fried would receive “a Nobel Prize at this rate.”
SBF will get a Nobel Prize at this rate— Peter McCormack☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) November 24, 2022
Related: Will SBF face consequences for mismanaging 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 only brush over Bankman-Fried alleged fraud and crimes and instead focused on whether he was getting enough sleep.
As for Bankman-Fried’s current whereabouts, Crypto Crib posted pictures 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 Bahamas penthouse.
On Nov. 23, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Merrick’s assistant Kenneth Polite and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse requested for the U.S. Department of Justice to launch a full-scale investigation into Bankman-Fried and other FTX executive’s roles in the collapse of FTX.
Update 2:30am UTC Nov. 24: Added a statement from a spokesperson at The New York Times.