TechDigits

Tech news
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

Oops. Sam Bankman-Fried's implosion took down Democrats' second-biggest donor with it as the party gears up to regulate crypto

Oops. Sam Bankman-Fried's implosion took down Democrats' second-biggest donor with it as the party gears up to regulate crypto

The CEO of struggling crypto exchange FTX was the party’s second-biggest individual donor in the 2021–2022 election cycle.

Fewer names have been bigger in cryptocurrencies this year than Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crypto exchange FTX. 

So when it became clear this week that the curly-haired billionaire and his exchange faced a liquidity crunch, he was no longer a billionaire, and his exchange likely wasn’t solvent, it cast a shadow over the entire crypto space and sent digital currencies plummeting.

It cast a shadow in Washington, D.C., too. 

The 30-year-old Bankman-Fried has been a major force in Democratic politics, ranking as the party’s second-biggest individual donor in the 2021–2022 election cycle, according to Open Secrets, with donations totaling $39.8 million. That ranks only behind George Soros (about $128 million) but ahead of many other big names, including Michael Bloomberg ($28.3 million). What’s more, he had promised to spend far more on Democrats moving forward, predicting in May that he’d fund “north of $100 million” and had a “soft ceiling” of $1 billion for the 2024 elections. 

That doesn’t look nearly as likely now. He backed away from the prediction last month, describing it as “dumb” to Politico, and on Tuesday his net worth fell from $15.6 billion to potentially below $1 billion, which Bloomberg called the biggest one-day collapse it had ever seen among billionaires. Rumors are now flying in the cryptosphere that he may even go bankrupt.

Federal regulators are now reportedly investigating FTX to determine whether it harmed clients or broke financial regulations after FTX’s implosion, as it saw $5 billion of withdrawals on Sunday alone, many of them prompted by a tweet from the CEO of rival exchange Binance that he was dumping FTX-linked coins. Binance then seemed to come to FTX’s rescue on Tuesday before ditching its 11th-hour bid to buy FTX the very next day. Cryptocurrency prices fell amid concerns about FTX’s solvency and fears of a possible contagion. It’s a head-spinning turn of events for FTX, which was valued north of $30 billion at its peak; and for the crypto space, which has declined in value from $3 trillion to below $2 trillion during this year’s Crypto Winter.

That’s a lot of wealth destroyed, leaving the crypto future uncertain, but it’s also potentially awkward for Democrats, who have drawn huge donations from crypto figures while taking tentative steps toward regulating the space this year. Bankman-Fried was a major donor to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election and is the primary donor to the Protect Our Future PAC, the political action committee which endorsed Democratic candidates such as Peter Welch, who this week won his bid to become Vermont’s next senator, and Robert J. Menendez of New Jersey, who secured a House seat.

Some Democrats are weighing in on the problems at FTX.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that “prudent regulation of cryptocurrencies is indeed needed” and the Biden admin and relevant government agencies will monitor the situation as it develops, adding that cryptocurrencies affect everyday Americans.

On Wednesday evening, Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted, “The collapse of one of the largest crypto platforms shows how much of the industry appears to be smoke and mirrors. We need more aggressive enforcement and I’m going to keep pushing @SECGov to enforce the law to protect consumers and financial stability.”


Newsletter

Related Articles

TechDigits
0:00
0:00
Close
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The future of sports
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
UK Crypto and Stablecoin Regulations Become Law as Royal Assent is Granted
A Delaware city wants to let businesses vote in its elections
Alef Aeronautics Achieves Historic Milestone with Flight Certification for World's First Flying Car
Google Blocked Access to Canadian News in Response to New Legislation
French Politicians Advocate for Pan-European Regulation on Social Media Influencers
Melinda French Gates Advocates for Increased Female Representation in AI to Prevent Bias
Snapchat+ gains 4 million paying subscribers in its first year
Apple Makes History as the First Public Company Valued at $3 Trillion
Elon Musk Implements Twitter Limits to Tackle Data Scraping, but Faces Criticism for Technical Misunderstanding
EU and UK's Slow Electric Vehicle Adoption Raises Questions About the Transition to Green Mobility
Top Companies Express Concerns Over Europe's Proposed AI Law, Citing Competitiveness and Investment Risks
Meta Unveils Insights on AI Usage in Facebook and Instagram, Amid Growing Calls for Transparency
Crypto Scams Against Seniors Soar by 78% in 2022, Experts Urge Vigilance
The End of an Era: National Geographic Dismisses Last of Its Staff Writers
Shield Your Wallet: The Perils of Wireless Credit Card Theft
Harvard Scientist Who Studies Honesty Accused Of Data Fraud, Put On Leave
Putting an End to the Subscription Snare: The Battle Against Unwitting Commitments
The Legal Perils of AI: Lawyer Faces Sanctions for Relying on Fictional Cases Generated by Chatbot
ChatGPT’s "Grandma Exploit": Ingenious Hack Exposes Loophole in AI, Generates Free Software Codes
The Disney Downturn: A Near Billion-Dollar Box Office Blow for the House of Mouse
A Digital Showdown: Canada Challenges Tech Giants with The Online News Act, Meta Strikes Back
Distress in the Depths: Submersible and Passengers Missing in Titanic Wreckage Expedition
Mark Zuckerberg stealing another idea: Twitter
European Union's AI Regulations Risk Self-Sabotage, Cautions smart and brave Venture Capitalist Joe Lonsdale
Nvidia GPUs are so hard to get that rich venture capitalists are buying them for the startups they invest in
Chinese car exports surge
Reddit Blackout: Thousands of Communities Protest "Ludicrous" Pricing Changes
Nvidia Joins Tech Giants as First Chipmaker to Reach $1 Trillion Valuation
AI ‘extinction’ should be same priority as nuclear war – experts
×