Discredited FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly bristled earlier this month over rampant speculation on whether he and other company executives were engaged in a polyamorous lifestyle.
Bankman-Fried criticized media inquiries about his love life during a Nov. 16 phone call with cryptocurrency influencer Tiffany Fong – excerpts of which were first published on Tuesday by Fong and prominent YouTuber Stephen “Coffeezilla” Findeisen.
“The problem is that, at the end of the day, their metric is clicks. That’s what they need to get and it’s fine, it is what it is, but what it means is that a boring story won’t sell and so they’re going to be trying to ask me, like, the most provocative possible questions,” Bankman-Fried said.
“We, as a society, have, in my opinion, in my humble opinion, have spent about enough time this week trying to figure out whether anyone living in Albany was polyamorous,” Bankman-Fried added. “I feel like I’ve answered that question a lot, and the answer is too boring for people to, like, believe.”
The Post has reached out to Bankman-Fried for comment.
Speculation about Bankman-Fried’s romantic entanglements is closely entwined with questions about FTX’s operations in the days before its collapse. CoinDesk reported that Bankman-Fried was part of a “cabal of roommates” who ran FTX and its sister cryptocurrency trading firm Alameda Research from a luxury penthouse in the Bahamas.
CoinDesk stated that the roommates “are, or used to be, paired up in romantic relationships with each other.” In particular, Bankman-Fried was romantically involved with Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of the now-shuttered Alameda Research.
Bankman-Fried later confirmed the two had dated but indicated they were not currently in a relationship.
The report sparked rampant online gossip that FTX’s leaders lived in a “polycule,” or a network of polyamorous relationships. Recently resurfaced Tumblr posts purportedly written by Ellison described a “foray into poly.”
“When I first started my foray into poly, I thought of it as a radical break from my trad past,” Ellison allegedly wrote in the Tumblr post. “But tbh I’ve come to decide the only acceptable style of poly is best characterized as something like ‘imperial Chinese harem.’”
Earlier this month, FTX’s former in-house performance coach George Lerner downplayed the situation and told the New York Times the doomed platform’s leaders “were undersexed, if anything.”
Fong said Bankman-Fried had followed her on Twitter for some time by the time FTX filed for bankruptcy. She sent Bankman-Fried a Twitter direct message asking if he’d be willing to discuss the situation, which led to the phone call.
In audio from the Nov. 16 call published on Fong’s YouTube page, Bankman-Fried said he had agreed to speak to her because he felt she would approach the conversation “from at least a somewhat neutral and interested vantage point.”
Fong admitted that she had “redacted” portions of the phone call at Bankman-Fried’s request.
Bankman-Fried participated in the call on the same day that Vox published a story detailing wild direct messages he had exchanged with reporter Kelsey Piper. In that interview, Bankman-Fried ripped regulators and indicated he regretted filing for bankruptcy.
The disgraced FTX founder made several other bold claims during his conversation with Fong – including an unverified assertion that he made massive “dark money” donations to Republican lawmakers during the midterms.
Bankman-Fried – the second-largest Democratic donor ahead of the midterm elections – said he kept the GOP donations under wraps to prevent media blowback.
“The reason was not for regulatory reasons. It’s because reporters freak the f—k out if you donate to Republicans, they’re all super-liberal, and I didn’t want to have that fight,” Bankman-Fried said.
Bankman-Fried also claimed ignorance of the so-called “back door” described in a Reuters report which alleged that FTX co-founder Gary Wang created a system to allow stealthy changes to the company’s books.
“I don’t even know how to code, is the honest, embarrassing answer,” Bankman-Fried said.