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October 3, 2023

As Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s Criminal Fraud Trial Begins, the Media Should Stop Repeating the Crypto Industry’s False Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Scott Farnin, Legal Counsel, issued the following statement refuting crypto’s false claim that 52 million Americans own cryptocurrency, as detailed in this Better Markets fact sheet. The crypto industry has placed ads in various news publications including the Washington Post and brought marketing items to Capitol Hill and Congressional hearings featuring the false claims.

“The crypto industry continues to make the false claim that 52 million Americans own crypto. That claim, based on a rigged crypto-purchased poll, is not true, but is being repeated and quoted by the media as if valid. It’s just more crypto propaganda being used to mislead policymakers into thinking that the use of cryptocurrencies is far more widespread and mainstream among American investors than they really are.

“A quick review of the carefully crafted poll reveals that the claimed results were pre-ordained to inflate the actual number of cryptocurrency investors. Indeed, the poll appears to have been intentionally rigged to ensure the survey respondents included a large and unrepresentative percentage of current cryptocurrency investors. By oversampling 500 current cryptocurrency investors in a poll of 2,202 U.S. adults, the pollsters guaranteed an inflated response. Worse, the cryptocurrency industry then shamelessly exaggerated the findings of the rigged poll to apply to the entire U.S. adult population to advance the ludicrous narrative that more than 50 million Americans own cryptocurrencies.

“The fact that the industry would brazenly tout the results of their deceptive, flawed polling data to Members of Congress at Congressional hearings is just the most recent audacious part of the crypto industry’s years-long influence campaign. The industry has no shame about its lobbying, deceptive marketing, or the fraud and massive investor losses it has caused.

“It’s up to reporters and editors covering the industry to carefully and skeptically examine the data and not simply quote and print baseless and misleading if not false factual claims, as happened too frequently with FTX’s former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. He somehow dazzled members of the media, now shockingly including Michael Lewis who sounds like one of his defense attorneys, and received favorable if not fawning media coverage. In light of FTX’s and SBF’s recent successful propaganda campaign, it’s time for media, policymakers, and investors to stop drinking the crypto industry’s ‘Kool Aid’ and asking the hard questions before repeating false claims.”

The fact sheet on the rigged, deceptive poll can be found here.


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies—including many in finance—to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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