FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
By EARYEL BOWLEG
DISGRACED FTX founder Sam Bankman- Fried said he is still “learning” and “reviewing” what led to his company’s collapse last month, adding he is not sure he will be ready to testify before Congress at a hearing in the United States next week.
His comments were in response to a tweet from US House financial services chair Maxine Waters who said that the information in the public domain thus far is “sufficient” for testimony based on Mr Bankman- Fried’s role as former FTX CEO and his media interviews.
The embattled former billionaire has given a series of interviews to the international media confessing mistakes that led to the crypto giant’s downfall. However, viewers thought Mr Bankman-Fried’s candour in press interviews would open him up to more legal problems.
Mrs Waters tweeted about his willingness to speak on the matter.
“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,” she tweeted on Friday.
In a US House Committee on Financial Services statement released last month, the US congresswoman announced the schedule for December which included the full committee convening for a hybrid hearing entitled “Investigating the Collapse of FTX, Part 1” on December 13.
In response, Mr Bankman-Fried tweeted on Sunday: “Rep Waters, and the House Committee on Financial Services: Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain. I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th but when it does, I will testify.”
Mrs Water tweeted to him about the information he has already given and said it was “imperative” to attend.
“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,” her tweet read.
“As you know, the collapse of FTX has harmed over one million people. Your testimony would not only be meaningful to members of Congress, but is also critical to the American people.
“It is imperative that you attend our hearing on the 13th, and we are willing to schedule continued hearings if there is more information to be shared later.”
During an hour-long interview at the DealBook Summit last week, Mr Bankman-Fried, who did the interview from The Bahamas, did not rule out the possibility of going to the United States to answer questions.
“I’ve thought about it and I’ve seen a lot obviously of the hearings that have been happening. I, you know, would not be surprised if you know, some time I am, you know, up there talking about what happened to our representatives or, you know, wherever else is most appropriate,” Mr Bankman-Fried said.
Mr Bankman-Fried also said he did not try to commit fraud and unknowingly commingled funds of his company’s customers with his hedge fund Alameda Research.