The sentencing of Sam Bankman-Fried, once a luminary in the cryptocurrency world, has sent ripples through the community as he was handed a 25-year prison term by a federal judge on seven charges of conspiracy and fraud. 

As the verdict was announced, reactions poured in from all corners, but nowhere more intensely than on crypto Twitter. This vibrant community, always quick to voice opinions, has offered a mix of outrage, comparison, and prognostication in response to the sentencing.

Read More: FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced to 25 Years for Historic Fraud

Not Long Enough

A significant portion of the community believes that the sentence meted out to Bankman-Fried is insufficient, given the gravity of his offenses. 

Attorney and pro-crypto U.S. Senate candidate from Massachusetts John E. Deaton, citing dual perspectives as a criminal defense lawyer and federal prosecutor, emphatically stated, “In my opinion, SBF should’ve gotten twice that amount. If you commit fraud and steal hard-working people’s life savings, you deserve a harsher prison sentence.” 

Read more: Where Is Sam Bankman-Fried Likely to Serve His Prison Term?

This sentiment of a perceived lightness in the sentencing was further echoed by Dan Held, a general partner at investment firm Asymmetric, who criticized the 25-year term as “Not nearly long enough given his actions, feelings around his actions, and actual damage caused.”

Bordois, the head of content and marketing at Flamingo Finance DeFi similarly remarked, “[Enter 25 years is not enough for SBF Sam Bankman-Fried post] (But it’s true.)”

Comparative Injustice

SBF’s sentencing has naturally prompted comparisons to other such high-profile convictions and sentencing. Some, for instance, drew comparisons to Bernie Madoff, who, having orchestrated a $65 billion Ponzi scheme, is one of the few fraudsters in history whose grift exceeded that of Bankman-Fried. Madoff pleaded guilty to several counts in 2009 and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. He died in prison in 2021.

Spencerswanson.eth, a ventures associate at Plug and Play Tech Center, explicitly invoked the need for a commensurate sentence, suggesting Bankman-Fried deserved a sentence more akin to Madoff’s life imprisonment: “#SBF gets 25 years in prison, not long enough imo. He’ll be out on parole in a decade…I was hoping for the Bernie Madoff life sentence.” 

(Note that there is no parole in the federal system where Bankman-Fried will serve, so the best he can hope to get off of his 25-year sentence would be 15% for good behavior).

No sentencing disparity drew more attention, however, than that between SBF and Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road and ongoing cause célèbre among crypto enthusiasts. Ulbricht was convicted in 2015 for conspiracy to commit money laundering, narcotics conspiracy, engaging in continued criminal enterprise, and conspiracy to commit computer hacking. He was sentenced to double life imprisonment plus 40 years without possibility of parole.

Jake Chervinsky, chief legal officer at the Variant Fund, reflected on this comparison: “If you’re following all the news about SBF today, take one moment to reflect on Ross Ulbricht. SBF got 25 years…@RealRossU got two life sentences, plus 40 years. This is not justice.” 

The harshness of Ulbricht’s sentence relative to Bankman-Fried’s has led many, including Girl Gone Crypto, who hosts the weekly Crypto Minute show, to question the inconsistency: “Can someone please explain to me how Ross Ulbricht got a double life + 40 sentencing and SBF only got 25 years?”

Read More: Where Is Sam Bankman-Fried Likely to Serve His Prison Term?

Concerns About SBF’s Future Behavior

A prevailing concern among observers was the possibility of Bankman-Fried resuming criminal activities upon release. Judge Lewis Kaplan’s remarks, highlighting Bankman-Fried’s calculated approach to his actions and evident lack of remorse, resonated with the community’s anxieties.

Independent crypto investor DCinvestor cautioned, “ok, one last thing on SBF: when he gets out in 25 years (or maybe half that) there will still be a critical mass of people here welcoming him back like he’s a hero and buy whatever tf he is selling next…sad, but true.”

Popular crypto commentator and podcast host Scott Melker, who goes by The Wolf Of All Streets on X,  playfully speculated on Bankman-Fried’s potential future involvement in emerging technologies, stating, “SBF is going to come out of prison firing on all cylinders in Web5 on Layer 7s.”

Jameson Lopp, the co-founder of self-custody provider Casa, took a more satirical approach, imagining a scenario where “SBF has been released from prison…Bitcoin is trading for over $100,000,000…SBF finds a few coins in his couch cushions and uses them to self fund his campaign for President of the United States.”

Perhaps no one, however, summarized the sentiment as elegantly as Gaslite cofounder PopPunkOnChain—using Sam’s own words, no less.

Whatever SBF decides to do next, this much is certain—he’s got plenty of time to think about it.