Political consultant and cryptocurrency advocate Samuel Armes announced last week that he is planning “a war-gaming session in Miami” to coincide with the Bitcoin 2023 conference. Armes was questioned last year by the House select committee for his alleged connections to the Proud Boy conspiracy and the January 6 insurrection.
Citing the threat of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), financial technology regulations, and the Wells notice issued last week to Coinbase, Armes said the meeting would be “a follow-up to two highly successful war-gaming sessions I hosted last year.”
On March 20, two days before Armes’ announcement, Florida Governor Ron Desantis proposed legislation to ban the use of a federally adopted CBDC. Florida chief financial officer Jimmy Patronis said the creation of a CBDC would represent an attempt by the federal government to “track each and every transaction that happens in the world.”
But Desantis’ proposed legislation is an initiative of the Florida Blockchain Business Association (FBBA), which was founded by Armes in 2017. The FBBA is a ‘non-profit chamber of commerce,’ working to advance pro-web3 policies in the state.
Armes formed the FBBA with Erika Gemma Flores, a relationship that came up when he was interviewed last year by the House select committee about the January 6 insurrection. Investigators asked Armes about another war game, which led him to write a tactical brief used by Enrique Tarrio and the Proud Boys in their attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
Flores allegedly passed that document to Tarrio, a relationship Armes told investigators he knew about at the time.
Armes claims the Feds groomed him
Despite his connections to the Proud Boys through Flores and Joel Greenberg, Armes prefaced his upcoming war game on criticism of the US government’s policies of mass incarceration, imperialist wars, and state surveillance.
Armes seems to have maintained credibility with Republicans in Florida after the release of his interview with House investigators. This is despite conspiracy theories on the right that the January 6 insurrection was stoked by agent provocateurs from within US intelligence and special forces, for whom Armes says he worked and was groomed.
In addition to war games and a chamber of commerce that influences Florida state crypto policy, Armes also has a newsletter and a podcast. But some projects have disappeared in recent months.
Before news broke about Armes’ interview with the January 6 investigators, he was working on a political non-profit called Sunshin3 with Gary Sheng and attorney John Montague. But now all information has been removed from its website and references to it have dropped from the founders’ social media.
In May, Armes will head to Miami, the crypto scene that introduced him to Flores and Tarrio, for his next war game.