FTX’s Bankman-Fried requests gag order for all witnesses in criminal case.

FTX's Bankman-Fried requests gag order for all witnesses in criminal case.

The Blockchain Industry: A Gag Order and its Implications

The blockchain industry has been making significant strides in recent years, but a recent legal development has brought the spotlight once again onto the industry and its key players. Former FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, has accepted a “gag order” that prevents him from making comments to third parties that may interfere with his trial. However, there is a twist – Bankman-Fried’s lawyers argue that the same gag order should apply to all potential witnesses, including current FTX CEO, John Ray. This request raises important questions about the role of confidentiality and fair trials within the blockchain industry.

Understanding the Gag Order

A “gag order” is a legal order issued by a court to restrict the dissemination of information or comments to the public or unauthorized third parties. In the case of Sam Bankman-Fried, this order prohibits him from publicly discrediting a government witness by sharing confidential information that could potentially influence the jury. The initial request for the gag order was made in response to Bankman-Fried’s comments discrediting former business partner and witness Caroline Ellison in an interview with the New York Times.

To comply with the gag order, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers from Cohen & Gresser LLP have agreed to the terms set by the court. However, they also argue that the same gag order should be applied to all parties and witnesses involved in the case, including the government and potential witnesses. Their reasoning behind this request lies in concerns over a “toxic media environment” surrounding their client since the collapse of the exchange, with current FTX CEO John Ray among the primary contributors to this environment.

The Need for a Level Playing Field

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers assert that FTX CEO John Ray has consistently attacked and vilified their client in public comments and filings related to the FTX bankruptcy proceedings. They argue that Ray’s remarks go beyond his role in recovering assets for FTX creditors and seem aimed at publicly vilifying Bankman-Fried. Consequently, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers claim that their client has been left with little choice but to respond in kind.

The lawyers further argue that the U.S. government is applying a double standard by relying on articles that harm Bankman-Fried’s reputation, while also seeking to restrict his ability to defend himself. They contend that if Bankman-Fried is subject to a gag order, the same restrictions should apply to all parties involved, ensuring a level playing field for all witnesses and maintaining fairness throughout the trial.

Implications for the Blockchain Industry

While this legal dispute centers around individuals within the blockchain industry, it raises broader questions about fairness, confidentiality, and reputation management in the industry as a whole. The blockchain industry operates on the principles of transparency and decentralization, but this case highlights the challenges faced by key figures when their reputations come under scrutiny.

In an industry that prides itself on open access to information and decentralized decision-making, legal proceedings like this can create uncertainty and cast a shadow over the entire industry. Blockchain technology has shown promise in revolutionizing various sectors, including finance, supply chain management, and governance. However, cases like these highlight the need for clear ethical guidelines and legal safeguards to ensure the industry’s continued growth and credibility.


The blockchain industry is facing a unique challenge as former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried accepts a gag order that restricts his public comments during his trial. While complying with the order, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers argue that the same restrictions should apply to all parties and witnesses involved in the case. This case raises important questions about fairness and confidentiality within the blockchain industry.

As the trial unfolds, it remains to be seen how the court will address these arguments and what implications this case may have for the broader blockchain industry. As blockchain technology gains prominence, it is vital for the industry to establish robust legal frameworks, ethical standards, and mechanisms for dispute resolution. By doing so, the industry can maintain its reputation and continue to drive innovation in various sectors.

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