Failed House candidate and partner of ex-FTX exec starts crypto think tank

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Contributions to Michelle Bond’s 2022 congressional campaign were part of a criminal investigation into her partner, Ryan Salame.

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Failed House candidate and partner of ex-FTX exec starts crypto think tank

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With her partner set to report to prison in 70 days after his sentencing related to FTX’s downfall, Michelle Bond announced the launch of a crypto-focused think tank in Washington, DC.

In a June 20 notice, Bond said she had helped launch the think tank Digital Future. According to her LinkedIn, the think tank is one of the first professional experiences Bond listed since the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Contributions to her 2022 campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives connected to the firm became part of the charges against her partner Ryan Salame, the former co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets.

According to Bond, the think tank would focus on helping create a “favorable regulatory environment” for financial technology, digital assets and artificial intelligence (AI) in the United States. She added that U.S. lawmakers “have yet to pass significant and impactful legislation on crypto and AI.” 

Before the collapse of FTX, Bond served as the CEO of the Association for Digital Asset Markets. She has also been the CEO of Capitol Advisory since 2023 — a “consulting firm that assists fintech firms with regulatory, legal and public policy issues and advice” — and served as counsel for the U.S. Senate Banking Committee from 2011 to 2012.

Michelle Bond’s resignation from the Association for Digital Asset Markets. Source: Michelle Bond

The timing of the crypto think tank’s launch was unclear. Less than five months remain until the U.S. presidential election, and many states hold primaries in June. Cointelegraph reached out to Digital Future for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Related: Why was Ryan Salame given a sentence longer than prosecutors recommended?

In September 2023, Salame pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business. In May, a federal judge sentenced the former FTX executive to 7.5 years in prison. He is scheduled to report to authorities on Aug. 29.

Salame’s charges were directly related to Bond’s congressional campaign. She ran as a Republican to represent New York’s 1st Congressional District in 2022, but the campaign did not move beyond the party’s primary. The former FTX executive allegedly contributed to Bond’s campaign on behalf of a corporation, violating U.S. law.

Since his sentencing hearing, Salame resumed activity on his X account for the first time in roughly two years, commenting on the crypto market and the U.S. political landscape ahead of reporting to prison. He has a seven-month-old child with Bond.

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