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Anti-Crypto US Senator Elizabeth Warren Had Close Ties With Sam Bankman-Fried

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • Crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried's parents have made academic and monetary contributions to Democrats.
  • Bankman-Fried's father Joseph Bankman endorsed a tax-related bill proposed by crypto critic Senator Elizabeth Warren in 2016.
  • A flattering piece on SBF by the New York Times has been criticized as inconsiderate on social media.
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In the wake of the recent FTX collapse, Stacks co-founder Peter Shea has pulled back the curtains on a messy web of Sam Bankman-Fried’s myriad romantic and political relationships, including US Senator Elizabeth Warren.

In a Twitter thread, Shea revealed that Bankman-Fried’s parents, Stanford law professors, had long been associated with anti-crypto Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Democratic party. Warren is arguably one of the most vocal crypto opponents on Capitol Hill.

SBF and parents linked to Democrats

According to Shea, Bankman-Fried’s father, Joe Bankman, endorsed a tax bill introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren in Apr. 2016. His mother, Barbara Fried, is in charge of a political action committee that helps secure Democratic funding from Silicon Valley companies. 

Shea points out the irony in Warren’s response to the FTX collapse, with the Massachusetts senator generalizing that the crypto industry needs “more aggressive” enforcement and “stronger rules,” while failing to mention Bankman-Fried’s $39 million donation to her political party for the U.S. midterm elections.

According to the Federal Election Commission, Bankman-Fried’s mother donated $15,500 to political candidates in 2022.

Source: Federal Election Commission

But Bankman-Fried’s political ties run even deeper. 

The former FTX CEO used to date Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison. Ellison’s father, Glenn Ellison, was U.S. Securities and Exchange chair Gary Gensler’s boss when Gensler taught a course on Bitcoin at MIT. Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, graduated from MIT in 2014 with a degree in physics.

Like Warren, Gensler is part of the Democratic party that received generous donations from SBF. 

Alameda Research is a hedge fund and trading firm that lost big when specific borrowers couldn’t repay loans. To help Alameda, SBF transferred almost $4 billion to the hedge fund in a widely-criticized public transaction that was once known only to a few people inside FTX.

New York Times piece accused of bias

Shea also called attention to the roast of a flattering New York Times portrayal of FTX and SBF by the New York Times. The piece has been roasted on social media for sugarcoating the devastating losses of FTX customers after the exchange failed to honor withdrawal requests through a lack of liquidity. 

N.Y. Times writer David Yaffe-Bellamy, who penned the article, had visited FTX’s offices in May 2022, where he was reportedly enamored by the company’s crypto-themed condoms and polyamorous vibe.

Web 3 project development studio Visionary Studios’ founder JagoeCapital unearthed further reasons to believe that FTX had been cozy with the famed New York publication. JorgeCapital highlighted that, according to Facebook, Alameda co-founder Sam Trabucco developed crossword puzzles for the Times since at least 2017.

FTX is currently being investigated by several international agencies, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the U.S. Department of Justice. 

For Be[In] Crypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here.

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...