On May 12, 2022 in testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried gave details about a partnership with OIC South Florida and Broward County government. Bankman-Fried told Congress he wanted to help “unbanked” citizens, people without a bank account. FTX would provide these people with “crypto wallets” backed by the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange.
“Our bank the unbanked program offers those cut out of the financial system a free bank account and debit card linked to a crypto wallet. There are no fees, and no minimum balances. Transferring funds is virtually free and instantaneous and can be accessed on a phone. They can use it to receive money, make payments and build savings. There are no fees and no minimum balance,” Bankman-Fried said.
Thanks to the ties of his aunt, Barbara Miller, Bankman-Fried was able to recruit Broward government entities into his crypto wallet scheme.
“We began our program in South Florida in partnership with OIC of South Florida and Broward county government, and have recently announced a new million dollar program with the City of Chicago, and look forward to expanding to many other cities and communities across the country,” Bankman-Fried said.
Broward and Chicago in the same breath, how cute.
Three months later, OIC hosted a “Middle Class Summit” sponsored by FTX. It featured numerous elected officials and business leaders from across south Florida. Bankman-Fried’s father, Joe Bankman was one of the featured speakers.
Bankman and his sister Barbara Miller were the driving forces behind the FTX Hackathon and Crypto Summit which targeted students from Broward schools.
Why was FTX so eager to gain a foothold in Broward government?