Feb 16, 2023

US Prosecutors Propose Stricter Bail Conditions for SBF, Banning Video Games

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the crypto exchange FTX, may be facing a new set of restrictions on his electronic device usage if the United States prosecutors have their way. In a February 15th letter to United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams asked the court to further expand restrictions surrounding Bankman-Fried’s electronic device usage, citing recent device usage as cause for concern.

The proposed restrictions would limit Bankman-Fried to using a single computer and cell phone, both of which would be monitored using a “pen register” — a device or process that essentially produces a list of phone numbers and internet addresses contacted from a specific source. Furthermore, Bankman-Fried would be prohibited from using cellphones, tablets, computers, or the internet, except for very limited uses such as reviewing pre-trial evidence, communicating with lawyers, and accessing emails.

These restrictions may be a major blow to Bankman-Fried, who is known to be an avid gamer, having reportedly played online video games such as League of Legends during fundraising rounds while at FTX. He also mentioned during an interview with New York Times on Nov. 13 that he likes to play games, as it helps him “unwind a bit” and clear his mind.

The restrictions come in addition to earlier restrictions which prohibited Bankman-Fried from using encrypted messaging apps after he was found to have contacted potential witnesses in his criminal case and a temporary ban from using VPNs on Feb. 14 after the Justice Department discovered he had used a VPN on two different occasions — in order to watch sports coverage.

The proposed restrictions have been met with mixed reactions from the crypto community. While some have expressed disgust at the initial conditions of Bankman-Fried’s bail, which required him to wear an ankle bracelet but afforded him full computer and internet access from his parents luxurious home in sunny California, others have seen the restrictions as a necessary measure to ensure the integrity of the case.

The proposed restrictions, if approved, would have a major impact on the web3 space. It would limit the ability of Bankman-Fried to promote and market NFTs, and could even impact the ability of other NFT marketing agencies to do the same. This could have a ripple effect on the promotion of NFTs on Twitter, as well as the ability of web3 agencies to sell NFTs.

It remains to be seen whether or not the proposed restrictions will be approved, but one thing is certain — the decision will have a major impact on the web3 space.

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