SBF posts regulatory 'manual' for crypto and FTX, cautions against 'locking in' DeFi policy

Quick Take

  • In the absence of clear crypto regulations, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried released a lengthy “industry norms manual.”
  • The FTX boss weighed in on decentralized finance, securities and other crypto policy issues.

FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried — commonly known in the crypto industry as "SBF" — cautioned policymakers from "locking in" decisions that could impact decentralized finance.

The DeFi commentary appears in a 3,800-word "industry norms manual" published on Wednesday afternoon.  

Bankman-Fried's post came a day after a report by The Block that lawmakers were considering changes to bill authored by Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and John Boozman, R-Ark., and amidst sharp criticism of that bill, which Bankman-Fried supports, by DeFi advocates. The company also faces legal scrutiny from regulators over how effectively it is following financial laws, including an investigation by Texas regulators that could affect FTX's proposed purchase of bankrupt crypto lender Voyager's assets. 

"Above all else: figuring out how and where DeFi and things tangentially related to DeFi do and don't fit into regulatory contexts is a hard problem, and one on which there is not yet firmly settled thought. We should be careful about locking in decisions absent working out a sound and responsible basis for doing so,” Bankman-Fried wrote.

The crypto billionaire said he hopes an industry group would “mull over” the issues mentioned in his draft and eventually “publish an appropriate set of community norms.”

In the post, Bankman-Fried also touts the potential for blockchains to improve traditional financial markets. 

“Tokenizing stocks could help simplify securities settlement, providing a stronger and more equitable market structure for retail,” he wrote. 

FTX will also not list tokens in the U.S. before applying the legal test as to whether a financial asset is a security as set by a Supreme Court decision, a standard operating procedure for most U.S.-based financial institutions. 


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