Sam Bankman-Fried hits back at billion-dollar political donation quote – Reuters

Crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried is backtracking on a previous comment suggesting he could spend $1 billion or more on groceries by the 2024 election.

In May, the thirties said on the Pushkin Industries podcast, “What’s Your Problem,” that he expected to give “north of $100 million” in the next presidential election and had a “soft cap” of $1 billion. In an interview with Politico’s Morning Money this week, however, the founder of global cryptocurrency exchange FTX called it a “dumb quote.”

“I think my posts were kind of sloppy and inconsistent in some cases,” continued Bankman-Fried, who also founded the trading company Alameda Research.

Instead, Bankman-Fried reportedly invested about $40 million in political action committees and campaigns this year ahead of the midterm elections, with most of that money going to Democratic candidates. The CEO of FTX was the driving force behind the PAC Protect Our Future, which raised over $28 million so far – and could move the needle in the next home races.

But for now, Bankman-Fried is taking a break from political campaign spending, telling Politico, “At some point when you’ve gotten your message out to voters, there’s just not much more you can do. .”

“You can spend more time on it, and more messaging, more money, more anything else, [but] you don’t accomplish anything more,” the FTX CEO told Politico.

The crypto market has crashed since Bankman-Fried first committed to spending hundreds of millions of dollars earlier this year.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is down more than 50% in the past six months, and more than 70% since hitting its all-time high in November 2021. Meanwhile, the market of crypto as a whole has gone from having a market capitalization of about $3 trillion less than a year ago, to less than $1 trillion today.

For his part, Bankman-Fried has spent a lot of money in recent months to support the digital asset industry during the crypto winter of 2022. The quantum trader turned CEO has bailed out several crypto companies to protect against a contagion effect. broader in the sector, and Bankman-Fried told CNBC in September that FTX still has $1 billion to deploy.

Bankman-Fried was also interested in helping fund Elon Musk’s proposed takeover of Twitter, according to personal text messages that emerged recently as part of Twitter’s lawsuit to force Musk into the deal. At one point, the billionaire was willing to commit up to $8 billion, according to a message to Musk from Bankman-Fried “collaborator” Professor Will MacAskill. However, he never made a formal offer, according to reports.

Meanwhile, US regulators and politicians have increasingly turned their attention to crypto politics in recent months as a series of bankruptcies and crypto bank runs have eroded trust in the cryptocurrency class. emerging assets.

Last month, for example, the Biden White House released its first-ever framework on what U.S. crypto regulation should look like, including ways to tackle fraud in the digital asset space. .

CNBC’s Brian Schwartz contributed to this report.

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Sam Bankman-Fried hits back at billion-dollar political donation quote – Reuters

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