Is there a questionable relationship between Sam Bankman-Fried’s bankrupt FTX, Ukraine, and the Democrats? In the aftermath of the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange, new questions are being raised surrounding these connections, from crypto partnerships to the billionaire’s contributions to Democrats.
It All Begins with ‘Aid for Ukraine’In March, the Ukrainian government established a crypto donations website, allowing Kyiv to convert digital token contributions into fiat money that would be deposited at the National Bank of Ukraine. The Ukraine government maintained a goal of $200 million. By October, it had raised more than $60 million.
The contributed funds have been used to purchase everything needed for the war effort, such as digital rifle scopes, medical supplies, field rations, fuel, military clothing, and other critical items.
The initiative, known as “Aid for Ukraine,” garnered the support of FTX, staking outfit Everstake, and Ukraine’s Kuna exchange. It has been powered by the Ministry of Digital Transformation.
Bankman-Fried’s Donations to DemocratsBankman-Fried was the second-largest Democratic donor for the 2021–22 cycle, donating $39.8 million. This was behind George Soros’s total donations of $128 million. Bankman-Fried gave the most amount of money to the Protect Our Future PAC, a group that “endorsed Democratic candidates such as Peter Welch, who won his bid to become Vermont’s next senator, and Robert J. Menendez of New Jersey, who secured a House seat,” according to Fortune. But this past summer, Bankman-Fried suggested that he could’ve spent $1 billion on the midterm elections to support the Democrats, although he stepped away from this proposition.
In the first half of 2022, he contributed $865,000 to the Democratic National Committee, $66,500 to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, and $250,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Mark Wetjen, the head of policy and regulatory strategy at FTX, who served as a commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) under former President Barack Obama, also attended some of the meetings.
Visitor logs also show that Bankman-Fried’s younger brother, Gabe, made visits to the White House on March 7 and May 13. His first appointment was with Nathaly Maurice, special assistant to the president and director of partnerships at the White House. His second visit was with Butash.
Gabe had previously worked as a Capitol Hill staffer and is the founder and director of Guarding Against Pandemics.
So everything that has transpired between Bankman-Fried, FTX, Ukraine, and the Democrats has raised some eyebrows. Billionaire CEO Elon Musk is also intrigued by the latest developments.
“Was FTX being used to launder money for the Democratic Party?” a Twitter user asked.
Alex Bornyakov, the deputy minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, took to Twitter on Nov. 14 to dismiss this “narrative.”
“A fundraising crypto foundation @_AidForUkraine used @FTX_Official to convert crypto donations into fiat in March,” he tweeted. “Ukraine’s gov never invested any funds into FTX. The whole narrative that Ukraine allegedly invested in FTX, who donated money to Democrats is nonsense, frankly.”
Corruption or Incompetence?Is there truth to any of the speculation that Ukraine funneled money to Biden through FTX or that there was anything iniquitous in the Ukraine-FTX partnership?
A cryptocurrency expert, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Epoch Times that there isn’t much credence to the suggestions. Although Bankman-Fried was a significant Democratic donor, the downfall of FTX was because of mismanagement, poor decision-making, and a lack of experience and corporate controls. It was an enormous financial firm that was run by 20-somethings.
In recent months, FTX has been acquiring troubled assets throughout the crypto and tech industries. In May, Bankman-Fried revealed a 7.6 percent stake in Robinhood, but the value had tumbled by more than 5 percent since the purchase.
It has been a year of turmoil for a wide array of crypto firms, such as Coinbase, crypto lending firm Celsius, BlockFi, and Singapore-based crypto trading platform Three Arrows Capital—which Bankman-Fried bailed out with a $750 million credit line.
There’s growing concern that Gate.io and Crypto.com could be the next two giants in the crypto ecosystem to experience financial troubles.
Some cryptocurrency traders learned that Crypto.com sent more than 320,000 ETH ($400 million) to Gate.io last month. But the former stated that it was a mistake.
Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek also downplayed any industrywide contagion fears, explaining in an “ask me anything” event on YouTube that “we never engage as a company in any irresponsible lending practices, we never took any third-party risks.”
FTX’s implosion has resulted in massive losses for pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, and investment firms.
The Epoch Times reached out to FTX, but the company didn’t respond to requests for comment.