Text messages reveal Sam Bankman-Fried's guru told Elon Musk the crypto billionaire was 'potentially interested' in buying Twitter

This is a photo of Sam Bankman-Fried looking to the side.
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of crypto exchange FTX.Tom Williams/Getty Images
  • Sam Bankman-Fried's advisor told Elon Musk the crypto billionaire was possibly interested in buying Twitter.

  • The advisor, Will MacAskill, attempted to set up a meeting between the two billionaires in March.

  • The text messages were revealed as a part of the discovery process in Musk's court battle with Twitter.

Sam Bankman-Fried's advisor told Elon Musk that the crypto billionaire was "potentially interested" in buying Twitter, according to a series of private texts that were released amid Musk's court battle with the social media company.

Will MacAskill, an altruism ethicist and top advisor to Bankman-Fried, texted Musk in March regarding the crypto billionaire's interest in Twitter.

"Hey — I saw your poll on Twitter about Twitter and free speech," MacAskill wrote on March 29. "I'm not sure if this is what's on your mind, but my collaborator Sam Bankman-Fried has for a while been potentially interested in purchasing it and then making it better for the world. If you want to talk with him about a possible joint effort in that direction."

Musk responded to the text asking if Bankman-Fried — whose net worth is $9.44 billion, per the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index —  had "huge amounts of money?" At the time, MacAskill said the co-founder and CEO of FTX was worth about $24 billion and would be willing to contribute as much as $8 billion to $15 billion.

In the exchange, MacAskill attempted to set up a meeting between the two billionaires and Bankman-Fried, later discussed financing with Morgan Stanley banker Michael Grimes in April.

Grimes told Musk that Bankman-Fried would be willing to commit up to $5 billion on April 25.

"I do believe you will like him," Grimes texted Musk at the time. "Ultra genius and doer builder like your formula. Built FTX from scratch after MIT physics. Second to Bloomberg in donations to Biden campaign."

Musk appeared less interested in the deal, saying he didn't want to "have a laborious blockchain debate" with Bankman-Fried.

When Musk's funding for the Twitter deal was revealed in a financial filing on May 4, neither Bankman-Fried's name nor his company FTX were listed.

The last publicly shared text between Musk and Bankman-Fried was sent on May 5, when Musk texted Bankman-Fried, saying "Sorry, who is sending this message?"

Spokespeople for Bankman-Fried and MacAskill did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment ahead of publication.

The text messages were revealed as a part of a trove of unredacted messages between Musk and several of Silicon Valley's most powerful players, including Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison, and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The messages are part of the pretrial discovery process in the court battle between Twitter and Musk.

The five-day trial that will determine whether Musk will be forced to buy Twitter is set to start on October 17.

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