The first week of December kicked off with a heated session among the U.S. Congress, and at the center of the debate was the pectacular downfall of the crypto exchange FTX. A hearing in the near future might also feature the company's fallen CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. Once hailed as the prince of cryptoverse with a net worth of over $22 billion, Bankman-Fried is currently staring at criminal charges, but he says he is open to fielding questions at a Congressional hearing.
The House Financial Services Committee is planning to host a series of hearings starting Dec. 13 to discuss the general state of the crypto winter, how it's robbing people of their life savings, discussing a tighter regulatory framework, and of course, holding the stakeholders accountable.
Responding to a tweet by Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California, who serves as the chair of House Financial Services Committee, Bankman-Fried replied that he wasn't sure about testifying before Congress by Dec. 13, but added that he will when he has finished "reviewing what happened." On Dec. 1, members of the Senate Agriculture Committee made it clear while speaking to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Rostin Behnam that they expect to hear from the fallen FTX chief and the top minds at Alameda research soon, reports Reuters.
It won't be an easy testimony
Bankman-Fried expressed interest in appearing before the Congress, but he will be fielding questions as a potential fraud. Last year, he was being hailed as a crypto industry stalwart in front of Congress. However, The former FTX CEO noted in the Tweet that he would "feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain."
Regardless of the date that Bankman-Fried appears before the Congress, he will face more than his fair share of scathing questions. Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Dick Durbin have openly asked that FTX hand over its trove of accounting data so that a transparent audit can take place. In an open letter sent to Bankman-Fried, lawmakers wrote that FTX's collapse justifies concerns that "crypto industry is built to favor scammers" and defraud investors.
Going a step further, Warren wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that "if Mr. Bankman-Fried and FTX executives committed fraud, then federal prosecutors should send them to prison." Bankman-Fried recently appeared in a series of media interactions, revealing that he has close to nothing left of his personal wealth and that the whole saga was a result of oversights and mishaps. Right now, he is in the Bahamas lending a hand with the bankruptcy proceedings at FTX and its related companies.