He is 29 years old and made super rich through cryptos. Meet Sam Bankman-Fried.
Everyone has ambition. And money is often very important. The same is true for FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried. He collected $22.5 billion before he turned 30, taking advantage of the cryptocurrency boom, but he is not a true believer. He just wants his wealth to survive long enough to give it all away.
Super rich through cryptos
The young guy is characterized by his standard clothes: black hoodie, gray khaki shorts and worn New Balances. So he doesn’t stand out. Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, which allows traders to buy and sell digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, raised $900 million in July from the likes of Coinbase Ventures and SoftBank. This at a valuation of $18 billion.
It handles about 10% of the $3.4 trillion face value of derivatives (mostly futures and options) traded by crypto investors each month. FTX takes an average of 0.02% of each of those trades, representing about $750 million in near-risk-free income — and $350 million in profits. So the store is doing well.
Separately, his trading company, Alameda Research, made $1 billion in profits last year by making well-timed trades of its own. Lately, Bankman-Fried has been in the media a lot judging Bitcoin prices, regulations and the future of digital assets.
“It’s a really weird, awkward time frame for the industry,” he says. “There is just a lot of uncertainty in half of the countries in the world,” said the billionaire. Now, five months before his 30th birthday, he is making his debut this year on the Forbes 400 at number 32, with a net worth of $22.5 billion. Except for Mark Zuckerberg, no one in history ever got so rich so young.
The irony? Bankman-Fried is not a crypto evangelist. He’s hardly a believer. He’s committed to making as much money as possible (he doesn’t really care how) just to give it away (he doesn’t really know who or when).