Sam Bankman-Fried says he is willing to testify before Congress about the failure of his FTX cryptocurrency exchange but that he might not be ready by Dec. 13, when House Democrats will hold a hearing.
The Bahamas-based crypto exchange collapsed in November after reports about its relationship with another trading partner sparked massive withdrawals and bankruptcy filings.
The debacle left customers scrambling to recover their money and sparked a flurry of congressional statements about the need for stricter oversight of the crypto markets.
“Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain,” Mr. Bankman-Fried tweeted Sunday. “I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify.”
Mr. Bankman-Fried, who was one of the top faces of the crypto market and a major Democratic donor, was responding to Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat and chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee.
“We appreciate that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at FTX,” Ms. Waters wrote. “Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors, and others. To that end, we would welcome your participation in our hearing on the 13th.”
Members of Congress agree there should be greater oversight of the crypto sector, but they haven’t settled on a plan. Some in Washington would like to subject the crypto industry to the same rules that govern other securities so that customers get more information about investment risks.
As Congress waits for his testimony, Mr. Bankman-Fried has launched an apology tour in the media.
During an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” he denied misusing anyone’s funds but said he “wasn’t spending any time or effort trying to manage risk on FTX.”