FTX CEO says he could spend ‘north of $100 million’ during US elections in 2024

Sam Bankman-Fried, chief executive of crypto exchange FTX, said Tuesday that he could spend significant funds during the 2024 election cycle in the United States.

Speaking to host Jacob Goldstein of the What’s Your Problem? podcast, Bankman-Fried spoke about his funding efforts in US elections to date and how that work might evolve in the lead-up to the 2024 presidential election when incumbent President Joe Biden could face former President Donald Trump in an electoral rematch.

When asked about specific numbers, Bankman-Fried said he would “guess north of $100 million” across the cycle.

“As for how much more than that, I don’t know,” he continued. “It really does depend on what happens. It’s really dependent on exactly who’s running where for what.”

Goldstein pressed Bankman-Fried about the upper bound of that figure, floating a possible $1 billion, which Bankman-Fried suggested was possible depending on the specific contours of the election cycle. 

“Yeah, I think that’s a decent thing to look at, as a sort of…I would hate to say hard ceiling, but at least as sort of a soft ceiling, I would say, yeah,” replied Bankman-Fried, who went on to add “[w]ith, again, a lot of caveats on this.”

As previously reported, Bankman-Fried has spent millions in political action committee (PAC) donations during the election cycle. This included funding for Congressional candidate Carrick Flynn’s unsuccessful primary bid.

During the podcast, Bankman-Fried said that “[f]undamentally, I think it was a well-fought race. [Flynn] had a real shot.”

“Going back to this discussion about expected values, if you’re donating political resources on candidates you’re 99% sure will win, you’re doing something wrong,” he continued.

Beyond politics, Bankman-Fried suggested that future public-sector spending could be directed toward pandemic preparedness. His brother, as reported previously by NBC, runs a non-profit group called Guarding Against Pandemics, which “advocates for public investments to prevent the next pandemic” according to its website.

Bankman-Fried previously made a $5.2 million contribution to then-candidate Biden’s election campaign.