SBF Spars with CZ And Denies ‘Hunting’ Three Arrows
Disgraced FTX CEO Commits to Testifying Before Congress
By: Aleksandar Gilbert •FTX Crisis
In a flurry of tweets early Friday, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried sparred with archrival Changpeng Zhao of Binance, denied allegations he had orchestrated the downfall of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital in June, and committed to testifying before a Congressional Committee next week.
Changpeng Zhao, better known as CZ, said Binance exited its investment in FTX last year after becoming “increasingly uncomfortable with Alameda/SBF.”
“Sam was so unhinged when we decided to pull out as an investor that he launched a series of offensive tirades at multiple Binance team members, including threatening to go to extraordinary lengths to make us pay,” the Binance CEO wrote on Twitter. “We still have those text messages.”
Bankman-Fried denied such an incident took place.
“We initiated conversations around buying you out, and we decided to do it because it was important for our business,” he replied. “And while I was frustrated with your ‘negotiation’ tactics, I chose to still do it. You threatened to walk at the last minute if we didn’t kick in an extra ~$75m. We did it anyway because this just made us feel more confident we didn’t want Binance on our cap table.”
CZ ended the exchange with an apparent reference to Bankman-Fried’s scheduled conversation with lawmakers.
“Don’t try to tell your friends to focus on us,” CZ wrote. “Focus on yourself. You should have learned that by now.”
In a statement late Thursday, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown, D-OH, and Pat Toomey, R-PA, said Bankman-Fried’s lawyers had ignored an invitation to appear before the Senate’s banking committee on Dec. 14 to testify about the collapse of FTX.
SBF To Appear Before Congress
Nevertheless, in a tweet Friday, the former FTX CEO committed to appearing before a House committee on Dec. 13.
Earlier in the week, he had expressed reservations, citing his lack of access to FTX data. Bankman-Fried stepped down as FTX’s CEO on Nov. 11 and was immediately replaced by corporate turnaround specialist John Ray, with whom he has publicly feuded since.
Maxine Waters, chair of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, said Monday she would not accept that excuse.
“Based on your role as CEO and your media interviews over the past few weeks, it’s clear to us that the information you have thus far is sufficient for testimony,” she tweeted.
“I won’t be as helpful as I’d like,” Bankman-Fried replied Friday. “But as the committee still thinks it would be useful, I am willing to testify on the 13th.”
Denies ‘Hunting’ Three Arrows
Bankman-Fried also denied allegations that he orchestrated the collapse of Three Arrows Capital.
In June, the once high-flying crypto hedge fund imploded, having suffered heavy losses earlier in the year due to the collapse of the Terra/Luna ecosystem. After a long period of relative silence, co-founders Zhu Su and Kyle Davies have recently reemerged on social media, celebrating Bankman-Fried’s downfall and suggesting they, too, should be counted among his victims.
“I have firmly said we were hunted [by FTX sister company Alameda] since my July Bloomberg interview,” Zhu tweeted Thursday. “Simply the truth, but one so inconvenient that at the time my own advisors didn’t want me to say it bc it could be ‘bad optics’ and seen as ‘deflecting.’”
Bankman-Fried denied the charge.
“I made a lot of big mistakes this year. But this wasn’t one of them,” he wrote. “There’s no evidence, because it didn’t happen. Please, please, focus on your own house.”
Three Arrows’ court-appointed liquidators have accused Zhu and Davies of non-cooperation. The pair have absconded to jurisdictions “known for difficulties in enforcing foreign court orders,” liquidators told a federal bankruptcy court in New York last week, and have dodged efforts to serve them subpoenas for information about the firm’s assets.
Three Arrows Liquidators Target $30M Yacht in Hunt for Assets
Teneo Says Hedge Fund Founders Are Uncooperative as It Corrals Assets for CreditorsThe Defiant
Meanwhile, the co-founders’ comeback has been poorly received by Twitter’s crypto community, with many observers arguing Three Arrows’ collapse could be attributed, in part, to its founders’ dishonesty in dealing with business partners.