Sam Bankman-Fried. (photo: Forbes México)

Five months before turning 30, Bankman-Fried appears in number 32 on Forbes 400 this year, with a net worth of $ 22.5 billion. With the exception of Mark Zuckerberg, no one in history had gotten rich so young. The irony? the young millionaire is not a believer in the crypto world. He is a mercenary, dedicated to earning as much money as possible so that in the future he can give it away (You have not specified who, or if it will be an organization).

Steve Jobs he was obsessed with his elegant products, but according to him “simple”. Elon Musk, he’s only in business to “save humanity.” Sam BankmanFried, whose philosophy of “Win to give”, It has led to the gold rush thanks to the great boom that the famous ‘cryptocurrencies’ are having. First, as a merchant, then as a creator of a cryptocurrency exchange, FTX: allows merchants to buy and sell digital assets such as bitcoin and Ethereum, raising in these operations $ 900 million in companies such as Coinbase Ventures and SoftBank in July, with a valuation of $ 18 billion.

When asked if he would give up cryptocurrencies if he thought he could make more money doing something else, like selling orange juices, he didn’t even stop to answer: “I would, yes.” At this time, Bankman-Fried he has only given away $ 25 million, approximately 0.1% of your fortune, making him the least charitable member of Forbes factor 400.


Sam BankmanFried is the son of two Stanford University law professors. The young millionaire grew up listening to his parents discuss politics with West Coast academics. After graduating from a small private high school in the Bay Area, he confessed something surprising: “It would have been great if I was more hippie and less scientific.”

Enrolled at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), he spent more time playing Starcraft and League of Legends video games than studying. He thought he could become a physics teacher, but basically he was more interested in ethics and morals.

“On a factory farm, a chicken is tortured for five weeks and you spend half an hour eating it,” says BankmanFried, what is vegan. “That was hard for me to justify,” Bankman-Fried confessed.

He read utilitarian philosophy carefully and was particularly drawn to effective altruism, a philanthropic twist in the style of Silicon Valley championed by Princeton philosopher Peter Singer and favored by people like the co-founder of Facebook, Dustin Moskovitz. The basic idea: use evidence and reason to do your best.

Sam Bankman-Fried.  (photo: Heraldo Binario)
Sam Bankman-Fried. (photo: Heraldo Binario)

After graduating from MIT in 2014, took a well-paying financial job. He traded ETFs for the quantitative company Jane Street Capital and donated part of his six-figure salary to philanthropic causes.

He paid little attention to the early days cryptocurrencies, but towards the end of 2017, chen Bitcoin went through its first conventional bull run and surged from $ 2,500 to nearly $ 20,000 per coin in just six months, it saw an opportunity. He found that the emerging market was inefficient: you could buy Bitcoin in the US and sell it in Japan for up to 30% more.

Alameda Research. (foto: H1B Data)
Alameda Research. (foto: H1B Data)

At the end of 2017, he quit his job and founded Alameda Research, a quantitative trading company. He settled into an Airbnb in Berkeley, California, with a handful of recent college graduates and began working in arbitration.

At times, his entire staff had to stop working to hack into forex because they couldn’t convert the Japanese yen into dollars fast enough. At its peak, in January 2018, bitcoins worth up to $ 25 million were moved every day.


In 2019, he took a share of the profits from Alameda and $ 8 million raised from some smaller venture capital firms and founded FTX. He quickly sold part of it for around $ 70 million to Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume.

FTX.  (photo: Cointribune)
FTX. (photo: Cointribune)

From the beginning, the company’s operations were not as fast as the young man surely expected. A dozen employees worked from desks standing in WeWork on Hong Kong trying to attract traders to his new exchange. He soon found a niche that attracts more demanding investors seeking derivatives as options. Bitcoin the future of Ethereum. Many derivatives traders have little to no ideological beliefs about cryptocurrencies. Like Bankman-Fried, they just want to make money.

As a result, they typically conduct far more deals and larger amounts than the average retail investor. This results in higher fees for FTX, which is a reduction of 0.005% to 0.07% per transaction. FTX It is also one of the few exchanges that offers ‘tokenized’ versions of traditional stocks, such as offering a crypto token that represents part of Apple. Since the company has almost no overhead costs, its profit margins are high, around 50%.

At $ 22.5 billion, Sam Bankman-Fried is the richest self-made newcomer in Forbes 400 history. And at 29, he is one of the youngest. Here’s how it compares to the competition.


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