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Is the CFTC Chairman Linked to the FTX Crash? Here’s What We Know

Here's what we know about CFTC chairman's connection to FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam

The United States Senator Elizabeth Warren has requested an accounting of all the meetings and communications between the current Chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Rostin Behnam, and the infamous FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried.

CFTC Chairman’s Ties With SBF

CFTC officials had met with Bankman Fried over 14 months and Rostin Behnam acknowledged that he exchanged messages with the FTX founder.

The frequent communication between Behnam and Bankman-Fried was their former efforts to boost the promotion of the LedgerX subsidiary, FTX’s crypto derivatives platform. The CFTC chair sought to position the platform in a way that enables him to handle margined derivatives trading for users without needing an intermediary firm.

The CFTC even held an in-house discussion on the topic with the FTX founder participating on a panel alongside industry opponents. After a senate hearing following FTX’s collapse, Behnam was questioned about his meetings and text conversations with the disgraced FTX founder. There were also demands for copies of physical communications, minutes, and other details needed to derive needed information.

The latest request from Senator Warren follows the same path as previous requests on this information. Acknowledging these letters, Steven Adamske, a CFTC spokesman, said:

“We just received these letters, so we will work with the office to get them the information they need.”

SBF’s Dramatic Downfall

Bankman-Fried, recently sentenced to 25 years in prison for fraud connected to his now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was once known for his prominence within the crypto industry. Things went south when FTX and its affiliated companies went bankrupt in November 2022. Blockchain projects like Solana were also affected by the crash.

Investigations into the case brought to light matters, such as SBF’s use of investors’ funds to partake in political donations, acquire millions-worth luxury properties, and conduct irresponsible trading activities.

Following his arrest, John J. Ray III emerged as the new CEO of the bankrupt FTX. Under his administration, the company has gathered funds to make affected users whole.

Mishael Nwani

Mishael Nwani is an avid crypto enthusiast with nearly four years of experience in the industry. Since 2022, he has covered topics across cryptocurrencies, NFTs, artificial intelligence, and financial markets.