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Who’s expected to testify at the next FTX hearings?

Members of Congress in the United States have been urging witnesses, including Sam Bankman-Fried, to attend committee hearings planned for December.

Photo by Sasun Bughdaryan / Unsplash

The testimony of SBF, Kevin O'Leary, and Caroline Ellison, the CEO of Alameda, FTX CEO John Ray, actor Ben McKenzie, and law professor Hilary Allen, has not yet been ruled out.

The confirmed members

Members of Congress in the United States have been urging witnesses, including Sam Bankman-Fried, to attend committee hearings planned for December. Bankman-Fried, sometimes known as SBF, declared on December 9 that he was prepared to testify at a U.S. House hearing to examine the collapse of FTX. The former CEO of FTX may be subject to a subpoena, according to the leadership of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee. This caused SBF to tweet on December 13 that he was "ready to testify."

SBF's name did not appear as a witness in the House committee's "Investigating the Collapse of FTX, Part I" (1) hearing at the time of publishing, indicating that more witnesses may be scheduled later. John Ray, who took over as FTX CEO on November 11 when SBF resigned, will speak instead. Hollywood actor Ben McKenzie and legal professor Hilary Allen were on the witness list for the Senate committee hearing titled "Crypto Crash: Why the FTX Bubble Burst and the Harm to Consumers," (2) which was set for December 14. Actor McKenzie, well-known for his work on The O.C. and Gotham, particularly for famous people backing initiatives, has been an ardent opponent of cryptocurrency.

Will there be more attendees?

Right now, nothing is clear. Who else from the crypto industry or connected to FTX Group may testify before Congress in December is unknown at the time of writing. Rostin Behnam, the chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, testified alone before a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on December 1 that was the first to examine FTX's demise. The CFTC chair referred to weaknesses in the organization's regulatory power.

In November, Maxine Waters, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, and Patrick McHenry, the ranking member, stated that they hoped to hear from "companies and individuals involved, including Alameda Research and Binance — suggesting efforts to have Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao or Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison speak. On December 4, according to reports, Ellison was seen in New York City rather than the Bahamas, where Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives were.

Kevin O'Leary, a participant on "Shark Tank," said in an interview on December 8 (3) that Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, had requested him to address senators on December 14. O'Leary said FTX had paid him $15 million to advertise the cryptocurrency exchange, although he lost about $10 million when the company went out of business. His name wasn't listed on any witness lists at the time of publishing.

Bankman-Fried appeared to have been trying to put off interviews with American officials about the circumstances that led to FTX's demise. Still, he granted interviews to numerous media outlets and repeatedly apologized for his part in the exchange's demise. If SBF testifies before Congress, it's unknown if he intends to do so in person, which may make him vulnerable to being detained in person or from the Bahamas.