Maybe today the name of Sam Bankman-Fried, but there are already those who call it ‘the new Mark Zuckerberg’. With a net worth of $ 22.5 billion, this year became the richest billionaire under 30 in the world. Only the creator of Facebook had managed to amass such a fortune at such a young age.

Sam Bankman-Fried via Facebook

With solo 29 years, Sam Bankman-Fried He came in at number 32 on Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s richest people. He also has the pride of being the richest person in the world of cryptocurrencies, far surpassing Brian Armstrong de Coinbase ($ 10.2 billion), to the famous gemelos Winklevoss de Gemini ($ 4.3 billion each) now Vitalik Buterin, co-creator of Ethereum, who is no longer even in the rankings.

The young billionaire has built his fortune with a series of strategic investments in cryptocurrencies, first as a merchant and now as founder and CEO of FTX, a digital asset exchange that allows you to buy and sell tokens such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Beyond his fortune and achievements, Bankman-Fried he became a billionaire almost unintentionally.

“I got involved in cryptocurrencies with no idea what cryptocurrencies were. It seemed that there were many good operations to do “, recognized the CEO of FTX in an interview with Forbes.

Guided by the idea of “Win to give”, his goal is to obtain as much money as possible so that, in the future, he can give it away in the style of Robin Hood, although he has not specified how or to whom.

Another detail that makes this tycoon an interesting character is that, ironically, does not believe in cryptocurrencies. He even claimed that he would give up cryptocurrencies if he could make more money doing something else, such as selling orange juices, the same outlet cites.

How did Sam Bankman-Fried make his fortune?

The now multimillionaire is the son of two Stanford University law professors, graduated from a private high school in the California Bay Area and in 2014 completed the BA in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

During college, Sam spent more time playing video games than studying, and was more interested in morals and ethics than science. “It would have been great if I was more hippie and less scientific”, he once confessed.

“I am (in) famous for playing League of Legends while on phone calls. I will also try to avoid resetting my RAM if possible. An added bonus of ‘bean bags’: if I sleep in the office, my mind stays in work mode and I don’t have to recharge everything the next day, “wrote Sam Bankman-Fried on Twitter.

Bankman-Fried is vegan and has a strong altruistic approach inspired by figures like the Princeton philosopher Peter Singer and Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook. After graduating from MIT, he landed a job at the finance firm Jane Street Capital on a six-figure salary, part of which he donated to philanthropic causes.

The now CEO of FTX set his gaze on the cryptocurrencies in 2017, when Bitcoin had its first big hike going from $ 2,500 to nearly $ 20,000 per token in just six months. Sam saw an opportunity to buy Bitcoin in the United States and sell it in Japan for up to 30% more.

At the end of that year, the young man quit his job, took a million dollars that he had saved and got another million with loans from friends and family. With that investment he founded Alameda Research, a quantitative trading company, dedicated to creating strategies based on mathematical calculations to identify business opportunities.

Along with other recent graduates, he settled into an Airbnb in Berkeley, California, and began working in arbitration. By January 2018, the small startup was moving up to $ 25 million in Bitcoin a day, but he soon became frustrated because he could not convert the Japanese yen to dollars quickly.

And then he founded FTX, his own cryptocurrency exchange …

In 2019, he took part of the profits from Alameda Research and raised $ 8 million with some venture capital firms to found FTX, his own cryptocurrency exchange company.

In its beginnings, FTX operated from a WeWork in Hong Kong with only a dozen collaborators. The new exchange grew so fast, it soon reached a valuation of $ 18 million and sold a share to Binance for around $ 70 million. However, in July 2021 repurchased Binance’s 15% stake in FTX for $ 2.3 billion.

Last September, Sam moved his headquarters to the Bahamas, and since the company’s overhead costs are very low, his profit margins are high: close to 50%.

In the last year, FTX earned almost risk-free income for $ 750 million and earnings for $ 350 million. At the same time, Alameda Research made profit for $ 1 billion in 2020.

Despite your altruistic intentions, Bankman-Fried has only donated $ 25 million to causes such as voter registration, global poverty alleviation, and artificial intelligence security. Such figure represents just 0.1% of your fortune, leaving it as the least charitable member of the Forbes 400 index.

Sam assures that “There is much work to be done”, given that “Important donations are not a short-term goal, they are long-term”.

“There is a wide world out there, but we should not think that cryptocurrencies will be the most fertile ground to work for forever.”, he claimed.


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