This month has witnessed a drama involving bitcoin and the massive FTX. Prior to its recent collapse, FTX claimed to be valued $32 billion at one time. Sam Bankman-Fried, the company’s founder, was detained by Bahamian police and denied extradition to the United States until January.
FTX has filed bankruptcy and folded.
Bankman-Fried was charged with eight felony counts on Tuesday, including conspiracy to conduct wire fraud and securities fraud, individual counts of securities fraud and wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to circumvent campaign financing restrictions.
Now the attention has temporarily shifted away from Bankman-Fried, as there is proof that a lawmaker received money from FTX before to its bankruptcy.
This year, the Democratic senator from Michigan, Debbie Stabenow, got at least $55,600 in contributions from FTX workers. The trading platform for cryptocurrencies filed bankruptcy after allegedly abusing customer cash. Then, Stabenow, who controls the Commodities Future Trading Commission, a cryptocurrency regulator, as chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee, proposed legislation to regulate cryptocurrencies, according to The Washington Examiner.
The story was initially reported by Michigan Capital Confidential, citing Federal Election Commission data.
Coindesk reported that FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried consistently met with regulators and lawmakers and pushed for crypto regulation, including lobbying for the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act, Stabenow’s bill. The bill seeks to give the CFTC more authority to regulate digital commodities like FTX. Bankman-Fried backed Stabenow’s bill and paid bill cosponsor Sen. John Boozman, R-Arkansas, $8,700; cosponsor Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., $5,800, and cosponsor Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J,. $5,700, according to FEC records.
Bankman-Fried tweeted on Oct. 18, 2022, “I’m optimistic that the Stabenow-Boozman’s bill will provide customer protection on centralized crypto exchanges without endangering the existence of software, blockchains, validators, DeFi, etc. If I were convinced I was wrong about that, I would not support it.”
A message left Thursday seeking comment from Stabenow’s office hasn’t been returned. It’s unclear if Stabenow still supports the bill.
The Examiner continues that prior to the collapse, senators were active in advancing legislation regarding the cryptocurrency exchange. In a Nov. 10 statement after FTX collapsed, Boozman doubled down on the need for the legislation.
“Chairwoman Stabenow and I remain committed to advancing a final version of the DCCPA that creates a regulatory framework that allows for international cooperation and gives consumers greater confidence that their investments are safe,” he said.
Stabenow supported the bill to implement “guardrails” to safeguard consumers at a hearing on September 15.
“As its name suggests, our bill is focused on consumer protection,” Stabenow said. “It will require that platforms segregate and safeguard customer assets, hold sufficient capital and abide by rigorous cybersecurity standards. It will eliminate many of the conflicts of interest in this market. And it will mandate that platforms speak truthfully about the risks of trading digital commodities and don’t engage in misleading advertising.”
Given that FTX and its creator are in court in Nassau today, all eyes are on the outcome of the bill and its likelihood of success.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
Meanwhile, back in the Bahamas, the 30-year-old Bankman-Fried who originally resisted extradition after his Bahamian arrest on December 12, is appearing in court today and is expected to reverse his position and waive his extradition rights, NBC News reports, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. CONTINUE READING…