Political campaigns

FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried Donated $40 Million To Political Campaigns, Report Says

  • Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX executives donated a total of $70 million to political campaigns in 18 months, according to OpenSecrets.
  • Bankman-Fried himself donated $40 million to mostly Liberal efforts, while fellow executive Ryan Salame donated $23 million mostly to Republicans.
  • Critics are now examining the role of cryptocurrency in politics after FTX’s dramatic demise.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and other company executives donated more than $70 million to political campaigns ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, according to data from OpenSecrets.

Bankman-Fried himself has donated nearly $40 million to Democratic candidates and political action committees, according to OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan organization that tracks campaign spending in American politics. He was the second largest donor to liberal efforts behind George Soros and the sixth largest donor overall.

Meanwhile, Ryan Salame, another top FTX executive, has donated more than $23 million primarily to Republican candidates and efforts. The remaining donations came from FTX engineering director Nishad Singh, who contributed $8 million to liberal efforts.

Their collective contributions cemented FTX as the third largest contributor to political efforts this election cycle and helped propel the cryptocurrency into one of the top spending industries in Washington.

Now, in the wake of FTX’s dramatic implosion and bankruptcy — which led Bankman-Fried to resign from his post while simultaneously losing $16 billion of his net worth earlier this month — the donations are drawing scrutiny. increased influence of the cryptocurrency industry on politics.

FTX’s rapid demise also led many to criticize “effective altruism”, a worldview of Bankman-Fried and some of his colleagues that led to the creation of the Future Fund, an effort to make investments with social impact.

During an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press in September, Bankman-Fried discussed his political donations and acknowledged the influence such significant contributions can have on lawmakers.

“Frankly, everyone should always be skeptical of this stuff,” Bankman-Fried said of political donations. “I’m not going to tell people they should give anybody a free pass. What I would say is look at the evidence, try to trace what’s going on.”