The eccentric 9x billionaire of the cryptocurrency market

 Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX exchange, is a vegetarian, shares a house with friends but is willing to spend billions of dollars with the goal of reviving the cryptocurrency market.


n the field of cryptocurrencies, two people born in 1992 are attracting attention: Do Kwon - "father" of Luna and Sam Bankman-Fried - CEO of FTX exchange. While Kwon's name is associated with scandals and have to run away, Bankman-Fried is at a completely different extreme. He regularly appears on the agenda, spending tens of millions of dollars lobbying to improve complex regulations in the cryptocurrency sector.

Sam Bankman-Fried was born in Stanford, California, raised by two Stanford Law School professors. He initially intended to pursue an academic career, but later turned to engineering. Bankman-Fried attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a major in physics.

Sam Bankman-Fried - CEO of FTX exchange. Photo: Bein Crypto
Sam Bankman-Fried - CEO of FTX exchange. Photo: Bein Crypto

The Nikkei quoted Barbara Fried, Sam Bankman-Fried's mother, that from the age of 14, he had a different personality, with the philosophy of "doing to give". Until becoming one of the richest self-made billionaires in the world according to Forbes ranking in 2021, he still pursues this lifestyle.

Western media called Bankman-Fried an "eccentric billionaire". He maintains a simple style, is a vegetarian, wears a T-shirt and shorts to work. "Sam Curly" lives with her best friend in a rental apartment. He is famous for his habit of sleeping only four hours a day in the chair next to his desk. Colleagues at FTX said Bankman-Fried used to get up at 3am to take calls from customers and start work. At one point he stayed awake for 30 hours straight.

Bloomberg's statistics show that this 9x CEO's assets reached $ 25.9 billion at the end of March. As of October 9, this figure fluctuated around $ 15 billion. The company FTX he founded pledges to donate 1% of its revenue to charity. To date, they have donated 10 million USD to foundations, including OpenAI research lab, Oxygen for India, Lighthouse Foundation, GiveDirectly... Personally, Sam Bankman-Fried has also repeatedly confirmed that he will give away most of his assets. their own for social activities.

Bankman-Fried's career journey has many similarities with billionaire CZ - the founder of the Binance exchange. After graduating, he worked as a teller at Jane Street, a trading firm on Wall Street, and accumulated financial knowledge. In 2017, he quit his job and founded the cryptocurrency company Alameda Research. Initially, the company's operating model was quite simple: buy cheap Bitcoin in the US and then sell it at a higher price in Japan, bring the money back to the US and repeat the process. Similar to CZ, Bankman-Fried quickly realized the great potential of the nascent cryptocurrency sector. However, the limitations of the exchanges at that time made them both decide to open their own exchanges. In 2017, CZ founded Binance, while a year later Bankman-Fried also founded FTX in Hong Kong.

In an interview with Nikkei, Sam Bankman-Fried confessed: "When I first started, I didn't even know anything about blockchain, Bitcoin. However, I grasped everything pretty quickly."

FTX is known for its complex derivative products, similar to investment banks, including futures, options, volatility indices, and leveraged tokens. They also allow trading of tokenized shares of companies or pre-IPO contracts. Investors can even contribute capital to unlisted companies.

FTX is also known for mergers. Last year, it acquired LedgerX, a commodity futures exchange. In April, FTX acquired a large stake in IEX Group, the owner of the famous stock trading platform Flash Boys. A month later, Bankman-Fried revealed he had purchased a 7.6% stake in Robinhood Markets Inc.

When the "crypto winter" hit, Bankman-Fried was judged to have appeared as a hero. In June, after the collapse of Luna and TeraUSD, about 15 crypto companies contacted Bankman-Fried to borrow money, including BlockFi and Celsius. 9x CEO thinks Celsius has not been saved, but BlockFi still has a chance. On July 1, FTX lent BlockFi $400 million with an offer to buy the company for $240 million. FTX also loaned Liquid - a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange - $ 120 million to maintain operations and began to consider an acquisition. In June, FTX also agreed to buy Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Bitco

Sam Bankman-Fried also spent tens of millions of dollars to appear in magazine ads, outdoor signs, hire supermodels, famous stars to help investors stay excited with cryptocurrencies, despite the fact. market decline.

The 9x CEO does not hide his ambition to "dominate the cryptocurrency market". While crypto billionaires focus on making money, he is active in the lobby of parliament to advocate for more open policies for cryptocurrencies. Cointelegraph reports that in 2020, Bankman-Fried donated more than $5 million to Joe Biden's presidential campaign. On Pushkin's podcast, Bankman-Fried said he would spend a billion dollars on American politics before the 2024 election.

"I'm spending a lot of time talking to
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