FTX’s Bankman-Fried to let ‘Crypto Twitter take the wheel’ on digital asset policy 

Quick Take

  • FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said he’d leave the crypto policy debate to “Crypto Twitter,” after his policy proposals sparked outrage online.

  • Bankman-Fried has been a vocal proponent of a bill that would grant the Commodity Futures Trading Commission greater power over digital commodities. He was met with backlash from decentralized finance proponents this week.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried could back off lobbying for crypto legislation, the exchange boss hinted days after igniting a contentious policy debate. 

“Crypto Twitter, take the wheel,” Bankman-Fried said in a Twitter thread.

For days, Bankman-Fried has been embroiled in a dispute over crypto policy regulation. He published a lengthy crypto policy blog last week that was met with scorn by some industry insiders. Critics were particularly frustrated by Bankman-Fried’s views on how to regulate decentralized finance projects. 

Bankman-Fried went as far as to debate ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees for two hours on Friday. The live-streamed program was hosted by the crypto podcast Bankless. A day later, Bankman-Fried said he’d leave the future of the crypto policy debate to others online — even if he disagrees with their views. 

“I won't push against the community's strategy,” Bankman-Fried said. “Even where I think it might not be the most effective way to accomplish the goal.” A spokesperson did not immediately comment on Saturday. 

Behind the scenes, Bankman-Fried has pressed lawmakers to pass a market regulation bill filed by Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and John Boozman, R-Ark. The Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission more regulatory power over crypto exchanges. A recent draft of the bill would also allow for a decentralized finance study that would influence future policymaking. 

Bankman-Fried wouldn’t say whether he plans to tamp down his lobbying efforts on the Stabenow-Boozman bill. He did, however, offer a warning to the industry.

“I hope, for all our sakes, that the crypto Twitter community has carefully considered all of the details of possible bills and policy proposals, and that the crypto Twitter community correctly understands the details of policymaking and negotiation and alliances in DC,” Bankman-Fried said. “There are a huge number of [possible] paths here — some fairly subtle — and I worry that some people haven't fully thought out, empirically, what the result would be of possible decisions we could make.”

“But hopefully I'm wrong about that,” he added.


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