Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Is FTX DeFi?

Is FTX DeFi?

Cryptocurrency & Blockchain

May we please have an honest conversation about DeFi and Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX? Crypto and DeFi exist so that we don’t need to put trust in some CEO or executive.

Now, here are a few shocking facts that may sound overly political for LinkedIn; but they’d be just as problematic, regardless of party affiliation.

Sam Bankman-Fried was the second-largest donor to the sitting US president’s last campaign, at $5.2 million, behind only Michael Bloomberg.

In a country of 332 million people, he was the second-largest donor. Let that sink in.

He was also the Democratic Party’s second-largest donor last election cycle, with nearly $40 million in total political contributions.

He literally used customer funds to finance the donations. Sound to you like the champion of placing financial power in the hands of individuals?

His father, Joseph Bankman, a tax policy expert, compliance lawyer and Stanford professor, helped draft tax legislation for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

His mother, Barbara Fried, is also a compliance lawyer, Stanford professor and member of the Silicon Valley super PAC Mind the Gap.

The Securities and Exchange Commission was reportedly working to grant FTX something akin to a crypto regulatory monopoly in the US. The conflicts of interest and revolving door between the SEC and FTX are too numerous to crunch into this post.

So, to everyone saying that this is the final nail in the coffin of decentralized finance, I say that this has nothing to do with decentralized finance.

This is more of the same. Same type of deception. Furthermore, same types of crimes. In addition, same opportunities for the mega wealthy and hyperconnected to leech off of a movement and position themselves as “the adults in the room.”

DeFi may work, it may not, but this isn’t proof that it didn’t. It’s proof that it keeps getting co-opted by the same forces it claims to be breaking away from.

We want to give this new system a legitimate try, one that better fits the needs of people in a free digital era.

To have it taken over and harmed by those with bad intentions, then use that as evidence that it never worked, is disingenuous.

Talking to DeFi people feels a little bit like talking to socialists, and I understand the cynicism it breeds. Ask for substantial evidence of it ever working, and they’ll tell you that it’s just never been implemented correctly anywhere.

Let’s at least give this a chance to be properly implemented in parallel to what we have today, then we can sincerely debate its merits.

A megadonor political insider running a centralized exchange and reckless hedge fund into the ground isn’t the DeFi experiment we’re demanding.

For anyone involved in making DeFi happen, please question entities beyond FTX. There is much to criticize and weed out, if this is ever to work. See another centralized exchange issuing its own bogus token? Ask why. See centralized stablecoin issuers? Ask why. See smokescreen governance? Ask why. And so on and so forth.

Written by Joe McKeating


( is a professional learning platform for organizations and individuals to gain the crypto/web3 foundational knowledge they need. The flagship “Foundations” program offers a thorough but accessible education in distributed computer networks, blockchain technology, consensus mechanisms, hash functions, mining, staking, cryptocurrency, smart contracts, non-fungible tokens and decentralized finance.

Is FTX DeFi?

Cryptocurrency & Blockchain