By Tony Romm, The Washington Post.
The stunning collapse of the world’s third-largest exchange has forced politicians to grapple with the costs of legislative inaction.
The sudden collapse of one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges rattled the nation’s capital this week, as lawmakers grappled with the wide-ranging fallout — and began to confront the consequences of neglecting the surging financial sector.
Only a few weeks ago, top Democrats and Republicans alike had been cashing campaign checks and working side-by-side with the vanguards of the industry, including FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, as they labored to craft new regulation in the frenetic, cutting-edge digital space.
Instead, Bankman-Fried unexpectedly became a potential case study of the costs of congressional inaction. While Washington dithered, he appeared to place risky bets that incinerated his fortune, jeopardized billions of dollars in Silicon Valley capital and upended an entire ecosystem of cryptocurrency start-ups. The lawyer tapped to lead FTX in restructuring, who previously oversaw the bankruptcy of Enron, described the situation Thursday as a “complete failure of corporate controls.”