– Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried met with senior White House officials at least four times prior to the collapse of FTX.
– The last meeting was reportedly held on September 8 between Sam Bankman-Fried and Steve Ricchetti, a senior adviser to President Joe Biden.
– The meetings reportedly focused on the crypto industry, crypto exchanges, as well as global health and pandemic prevention.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, met with senior White House officials at least four times prior to the collapse of the company. According to visitor logs, the last of these meetings took place on September 8 between Bankman-Fried and Steve Ricchetti, a senior adviser to President Joe Biden.
The news was first reported by Bloomberg on Thursday, citing sources inside the White House who were familiar with the situation. The source spoke on condition of anonymity and said that politics was not discussed at any of the White House meetings. The source did not comment on whether donations or crypto regulation was discussed at the meetings.
In addition to the meeting with Ricchetti on September 8, Bankman-Fried was at the White House at least three other times in 2022. The first of these meetings took place on April 22, while the next ones happened on May 12 and May 13. The first two were held with Ricchetti, and the last was with Bruce Reed, another senior aide to President Biden.
Others, including SBF’s brother Gabriel Bankman-Fried and other FTX representatives, have also attended meetings at the White House. The meetings reportedly focused on the crypto industry, crypto exchanges, as well as global health and pandemic prevention. Gabriel Bankman-Fried leads Guarding Against Pandemics, an advocacy group dedicated to preventing the next pandemic.
Given the current state of the cryptocurrency market, and the fact that FTX was one of the largest players in the space, it is not surprising that Bankman-Fried would have sought out senior White House officials in order to discuss the industry. However, it remains to be seen what, if any, impact these meetings had on the industry or if they were simply discussions about the industry’s future.
Regardless, the news of Bankman-Fried’s meetings with White House officials is sure to raise some eyebrows in the cryptocurrency community. Many have long suspected that the industry is too heavily influenced by politics, and the fact that Bankman-Fried was able to secure meetings with the White House does not help allay those fears.