The choice was made not long before the prosecution is expected to conclude its case.
The 31-year-old is charged with embezzling money from clients of his now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, and misrepresenting to lenders and investors.
Mr. Bankman-Fried disputes the allegations and may speak as early as Thursday.
If found guilty, he could receive a sentence as long as life in jail.
In the United States, defendants are not required to testify during court proceedings; in fact, they are frequently counseled against it because it exposes them to prosecution interrogation.
It also provides the jurors who will make the decision with
A former federal prosecutor who has been following the trial, Jacob Frenkel, told the BBC earlier this month that “if the jury does not believe him, it’s a guaranteed conviction.”
Many observers who followed the trial had anticipated, despite the dangers, that the former businessman would take the stand, present his own account of events, and attempt to cast doubt on the prosecution’s narrative.
Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, said, “The prosecutors have put on a pretty strong case. Given what we’ve seen so far, I don’t know that there’s much downside in this case for him to testify.”
Based on confessions from three of his closest former friends and coworkers who have already entered guilty pleas, prosecutors have constructed a strong case against him.