Skip to main content

Better Markets Crypto/FTX Timeline

For years now, too many leaders on Wall Street and Washington either looked the other way or blindly supported the crypto industry as it worked relentlessly to infiltrate our financial system and rewrite the laws and rules to benefit their special interests.

Recognizing how important and influential Better Markets is (having participated in more than 125 rulemakings at the CFTC alone), FTX offered Better Markets “$1 million or more,” but only if we supported its Application at the CFTC – basically a bribe.  Even though that is more than 25% of our annual budget, we refused to sell out and take FTX’s money, and we continued to aggressively oppose them, including in a face-to-face meeting with Sam Bankman Fried and his team of lobbyists.

Better Markets has stood against the crypto tidal wave of money, stood up to FTX’s powerful supporters (including at the CFTC and in Congress), asked the tough questions (including of Sam Bankman-Fried directly in our conference room), and aggressively opposed FTX’s radical and dangerous proposals.

Below is a timeline of just some of Better Markets’ work on crypto and FTX in 2022. You can find more information here.

FTX Timeline

March 9 2022

Cryptocurrencies: The Next Big Thing Or The Next Goldrush?

Image of bitcoin breaking through a 100 dollar bill

With cryptocurrency dominating the news and with Bitcoin near its peak, Better Markets was one of the few organizations asking the tough questions about cryptocurrencies and their impact on consumers, investors and our financial system.

May 3 2022

Better Markets Meets with FTX and SBF

Sam Bankman-Fried and other FTX employees and representatives met with the Better Markets team to solicit its support its request for comment on FTX’s proposal to offer non-intermediated, margined clearing of Bitcoin futures products.

May 11 2022

FTX’s Proposal to offer 24/7/365 auto-liquidation

Better Markets filed a comment letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in response to the agency’s request for comment on FTX’s proposal to offer non-intermediated, margined clearing of Bitcoin futures products. Better Markets raised serious concerns over the proposal and asked the CFTC to use “extreme caution in evaluating it.”

May 24 2022

Better Markets Publishes Fact Sheet Prior to CFTC Roundtable

Before a CFTC roundtable on FTX’s application, we outlined the key questions that both the CFTC and FTX should address as they considered the company’s application.

June 7 2022

Bipartisan Crypto Bill Is Congress Playing with Fire and Repeating the Mistakes of the Past- Another Financial Crash and More Industry Bailouts

Better Markets asked the tough questions about a bill introduced that was heavily supported and lobbied for by the crypto industry.


“The bipartisan crypto bill with the Orwellian name of ‘Responsible Financial Innovation Act’ released today will likely result in crypto being largely unregulated, even though it is an extremely volatile financial product with a limited track record, which itself is mostly bad.  Worse, it appears to be designed to disarm the public by making them think crypto will be properly regulated while the industry and the insiders know that is simply not true.”

June 30 2022

The SEC Rejected a crypto exchange traded fund

Better Markets applauded the SEC for prioritizing investor protection in rejecting a crypto ETF due to susceptibility to fraud and manipulative practices.


July 3 2022

Washington Post: Bill to grant crypto firms access to Federal Reserve alarms experts

The Washington Post reported that legislation introduced in Congress would require the Fed to give crypto banks access to its payment rails.

“Dennis Kelleher, president of the nonprofit Better Markets, which advocates stricter financial regulation, said the details will matter, but the approach “would likely be the worst of all worlds,” granting crypto firms access to the Fed’s payment infrastructure “without the regulations imposed on banks. The result would be the appearance of protecting taxpayers and the financial system but not the reality.”

August 12 2022

LA Times: A young crypto billionaire’s political agenda goes well beyond pandemic preparedness

Long before the FTX collapse Better Markets sounded the alarm in the media about FTX’s proposal.

“The FTX proposal would encourage speculation, rather than finding stable prices, said Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a D.C.-based think tank that focuses on accountability, transparency and fairness in financial markets. The proposal ‘removes a historic layer of protection that has worked extremely well,’ Kelleher said. ‘The markets are going to be transformed in a way that the interests of actual producers and purchasers are going to end up subordinated to speculators and financial products.’”

September 14 2022

Dennis Kelleher Discusses Crypto Lobbying on Financial Times’ Tech Tonic Podcast

The Financial Times Tech Tonic podcast covers the crypto lobby’s enormous influence in its series “A sceptic’s guide to crypto.” They spoke with our Dennis Kelleher about the stunning amount of money being spent and how it could impact our entire financial system.

November 8 2022

Binance announces agreement to purchase FTX

Binance announces it has entered into a non-binding agreement to purchase FTX due to what he referred to as a “liquidity crisis” at FTX.


Better Markets Press Release: As the extent of FTX fraud became public Better Markets called for thew CFTC to reject FTX’s pending application.

November 9 2022

Binance Backs Out of FTX Acquisition

Bloomberg called the acquisition of FTX by Binance “unlikely” due to the poor state of FTX’s finances. Bloomberg also reported that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission were investigating the nature of FTX’s connections to Bankman-Fried’s other holdings and its handling of client funds.


FTX announces its not processing withdrawals.


Wall Street Journal: SEC, DOJ Investigating Crypto Platform FTX


“It’s past time that the SEC brought charges against these exchanges for facilitating the trading of unregistered securities,” said Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a group that advocates for oversight of the financial sector.

November 11 2022

FTX declares bankruptcy.

November 12 2022

The Crypto Meltdown Could Have Been So Much Worse


The Atlantic: “Why is the contagion so limited? I asked that question of Dennis Kelleher, a co-founder of Better Markets, a nonprofit that advocates for financial regulation in the public interest. ‘The only reason we do not currently have a financial crisis, with a crash and with bailouts, is because regulators have withstood enormous pressure to allow interconnection and linkages between the crypto activities and the core of the financial and banking system.’”

November 14 2022

Better Markets Fact Sheet: Setting the Record Straight on Crypto, FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried, and Financial Regulators

In this Fact Sheet, Better Markets explained the FTX collapse, regulatory failures by the CFTC, and highlighted the massive lobbying campaign by FTX and the crypto industry. (Updated on 11/29/22)



November 15 2022

Dennis Kelleher Takes Part in Brookings Panel on Crypto

During the panel, Dennis Kelleher focused on the revolving door of the crypto industry and the need to prevent the lawless crypto industry from infecting the entire banking system and economy.

November 16 2022

Dennis Kelleher Discusses FTX and the Future of Crypto on CNN

“We met with Sam Bankman-Fried. We weren’t impressed. We weren’t fawning and gawking over him like some of the smartest financial people…It didn’t take us long to figure out there were big, big problems that threatened investors, customers, and financial stability.”

November 21 2022

We called on Congress to know the facts before considering legislation putting the underfunded CFTC in charge of the crypto industry

November 28 2022

The Wall Street Journal Story covered FTX’s attempted bribe of Better Markets

FTX Spending Spree Included Offers to Washington Advocacy Groups


“In late March, FTX officials began reaching out to Better Markets’ president, Dennis Kelleher, to discuss the firm’s application with the CFTC.


“They noted Mr. Bankman-Fried is ‘a very generous person,’ and floated the possibility of “a contribution of $1 million or more” to Better Markets, Mr. Kelleher said. After being told that a donation would not sway the group’s skepticism toward FTX’s application, an FTX official responded, ‘Oh, I don’t think Sam would agree to that.’


“’It was a direct quid pro quo,’” Mr. Kelleher said. “No ambiguity.”


“Better Markets urged the CFTC to deny the application, which FTX withdrew this month.”

December 15 2022

The Financial Times cited Better Markets Fact Sheet on FTX in its piece on the CFTC’s failures

We need to talk about the CFTC

Yes, the CFTC might not have been able to prevent the FTX debacle. Frauds happen. But the agency has consistently acted as a friendly champion of a fraud-riddled dumpster fire it purportedly wants to supervise. As Dennis Kelleher of non-profit investor advocacy group Better Markets put it in a recent report: . . . Rather than aggressively regulating crypto and skeptically scrutinizing its claims, the CFTC has spent most of its time cheerleading the industry and trying to expand its jurisdiction rather than worrying about investor, customer, and markets protections.

December 20 2022

Dennis Kelleher tells The New Yorker’s John Cassidy about why the crypto industry wants the CFTC as its regulator

Washington Needs a Crypto Rethink



Kelleher told me that handing over primary regulatory authority to the C.F.T.C. would be a massive win for the crypto lobby. “The C.F.T.C. has been chronically underfunded, and it is easily penetrated and captured by an industry it is supposed to regulate,” he said. “FTX and other crypto firms wanted the weakest possible regulator, and that’s the C.F.T.C.”

December 26 2022

Examining the revolving door between the CFTC and FTX

December 26 2022

Los Angeles Times: Emails reveal Sam Bankman-Fried’s courtship of federal regulators

“These few emails show that the CFTC had an open-door policy to meet basically whenever FTX wanted to meet, including [with] the then-acting chair,” Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a nonprofit that advocates for financial regulation, told The Times. “FTX hired former CFTC officials for the purpose, obviously, to access and influence the CFTC, where FTX had a pending radical proposal to dramatically change the structure and operations of clearinghouses.”


Read the article here.

Contact Us

For media inquiries, please contact or 202-618-6433.

To sign up for our email newsletter, please visit this page.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign Up — Stay Informed With Our Monthly Newsletter

"* (Required)" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

For media inquiries,

please contact or 202-618-6433.


Help us fight for the public interest in our financial markets, protecting Main Street from Wall Street and avoiding another costly financial collapse and economic crisis, by making a donation today.

Donate Today