FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is a controversial figure in the world of crypto, perhaps the most contentious following his recent statements on regulation. Over the past year, SBF has been in the trending section of CryptoSlate’s people directory almost weekly.
SBF, along with his companies Alameda Research and FTX, bailed out both BlockFi and Voyager following the collapse of Terra Luna. He also engaged with Celsius but chose not to invest in them due to holes in the balance sheets to the tune of $2 billion.
Through these activities, a few have hailed SBF as the savior of crypto, while others have pointed to possible personal motivations for his actions. The founder of Solana-based Solend, Rooter, called SBF “a profit maxi: profit at all costs.”
Below I attempt to address ‘What is SBF’s position on regulation?’ and whether he has been misunderstood.
Crypto regulation and SBF
Questions about SBF’s motivation for his public views on crypto regulation have been riding high over the past few weeks. SBF’s comments on DeFi revolved around blocklists, sanctions, consumer protection, hackers, and licensing for DeFi protocols. Most notably, SBF contended that marketing DeFi products to U.S. retail investors would likely require a license and KYC obligations.
Directly, SBF remarked,
“If you host a website that makes it easy for US retail to connect to and trade on a DEX, you would likely have to register as something like a broker-dealer.”
The crypto community is not on board with the requirement of licenses and KYC checks for DeFi, as Erik Voorhees from Bankless wrote in a recent blog post. CryptoSlate covered the response alongside Wintermute CEO Evgeny Gaevoy’s take on the situation. Fortune.com referred to the debate as “the battle for crypto’s soul” while describing SBF as “the most powerful man in crypto.”
The dispute spilled over onto Twitter on October 20 when SBF responded by remarking that “he did not feel heard” by Voorhees.
From your original post, it isn’t clear where/how you draw the line. I think this is why so many have been…