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FEC probe demanded after SBF ‘admitted’ making dark money donations

Sam Bankman-Fried previously told crypto vlogger Tiffany Fong that all his Republican donations "were dark."

A watchdog group has demanded an investigation into Sam Bankman-Fried's political donations, claiming the former FTX CEO admitted to donating tens of millions of dollars to Republicans under the table, in violation of federal law.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed the complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Dec. 8, citing comments made by Bankman-Fried in a Nov. 16 interview with cryptocurrency vlogger Tiffany Fong released via YouTube on Nov. 29.

CREW suggested in its complaint that wealthy donors often take advantage of the Citizen United ruling to evade federal disclosure laws by using intermediaries and claiming they were unaware of where the funds ended up, but that Bankman-Fried’s admission negates this plausible deniability. As CREW senior vice president and chief counsel Donald Sherman notes:

“Bankman-Fried said the quiet part out loud. He admitted that he violated federal laws designed to ensure Americans have transparency into those funding elections and now needs to be held accountable.”

CREW has asked the FEC to investigate the violation, and take any further action that is appropriate such as referring the matter to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.

The group accused Bankman-Fried of “direct and serious violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act,” which requires the disclosure of political donations of over $200 a year.

Related: FTX’s Bankman-Fried to face market manipulation probe, Do Kwon chimes in

In the Nov. 16 interview with Fong, Bankman-Fried claimed to have “donated about the same to both parties." Given that he was the Democrats’ second largest donor, according to OpenSecrets, these “dark” donations appear to involve a substantial amount of money.

“All my Republican donations were dark,” SBF noted, before adding:

“The reason was not for regulatory reasons, it’s because reporters freak the fuck out if you donate to Republicans, they’re all super liberal. And I didn’t want to have that fight.”

Bankman-Fried has been on something of an apology tour since his fall from grace, making a variety of public appearances including interviews with The New York Times’ DealBook Summit, Good Morning America and plenty of Twitter Spaces.

He has repeatedly claimed that he is conducting these interviews against the advice of his lawyers, who have advised him to lay low and not say anything lest his comments land him in hot water.

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‘Operation Choke Point 2.0’ may have contributed to SVB collapse: Mulvaney

Soros Fund Invests in Crypto, Citing “Real Fear” Around Fiat Supply

Soros Fund Management CIO Dawn Fitzpatrick commented on cryptocurrency on Thursday, stating the fund had been making investments throughout the space.

Fiat Crisis Boosted Bitcoin, Says Soros CIO

Chief investment officer Dawn Fitzpatrick oversees $27 billion for Soros Fund Management. The Soros fund has historically boasted returns of 20% per year, but recently deployed capital into more volatile markets, increasing gains to 30%.

In 2019, the fund oversaw the investment of $305 million into SolarCity, prompting SolarCity chairman Elon Musk to buy the company and merge it with Tesla.

On Thursday, Fitzpatrick revealed in a Bloomberg interview that the fund has invested in crypto exchanges, asset managers, and custodians among other aspects of the ecosystem.

“We’re at a really important moment in time,” said Fitzpatrick. “Something like Bitcoin might have stayed a fringe asset but for the fact that in the last 12 months, we’ve increased the fiat money supply by 25%. So there is a real fear of debasing of fiat currencies.”

Fitzpatrick went on to state that Bitcoin is, in her view, a commodity rather than a currency, commenting on the interesting nature of the BTC halving mechanism.

Bitcoin is Taking Buyers From Gold

Fitzpatrick commented on the sluggish gold market of late, stating Bitcoin may be behind the low volume in gold.

“When you look at gold price action, in the context of a fairly robust inflation narrative of late, it’s struggled getting traction of late and I think that’s because Bitcoin is taking some of its buyer base away.”

When asked if she owned Bitcoin, Fitzpatrick simply laughed, saying “I’m not going to answer that.”

She added that central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are almost here, stating that there are strategic geopolitical reasons behind China’s effort to become a first mover.

Fitzpatrick views China’s CBDC as a real threat to Bitcoin, but said that the threat is temporary and unlikely to permanently destabilize Bitcoin.

The head of China’s digital currency project commented earlier this week on the CBDC, stating that anonymity will not be feasible.

‘Operation Choke Point 2.0’ may have contributed to SVB collapse: Mulvaney