29-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried has made his mark in the world of crypto, rising to prosperity in such a short period of time as comparable to that of Austin Russell’s Luminar. But how exactly did he do it?
Sam Bankman-Friend is the son of two Stanford Law School professors who graduated with a degree in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014. Following his graduation from university, Sam worked for Jane Street trading ETFs from 2014 to 2017.
He created his first liquid crypto market business in 2017, more commonly known as Alameda Research.
In an interview with Forbes, he discussed the purpose behind the company, stating, “We saw that crypto was exhibiting all the signs that there would be a lot of demand for liquidity but with very little liquidity available. Everyone on the street was talking about crypto during that time.
“We were seeing huge price movements and inflows which clearly pointed to a lot of people from many different countries trying to buy many different varieties of crypto currencies using different acquisition methods. Despite how big it had become, it still had only been a few months. This meant that there had not been enough time for most of the buyers globally to onboard into the crypto ecosystem.”
Then, in April of 2019, Sam co-founded FTX, the cryptocurrency essentially “built by traders, for traders.”
FTX is primarily used by consumers to trade spot, futures, stock, leverage tokens and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTS). The objective of FTX is “to develop a platform robust enough for professional trading firms and intuitive enough for first-time users.”
In 2021 alone, FTX brought in $900 million from companies like Coinbase Ventures and Softbank, attributable to an $18 billion estimate, following another $25 billion valuation in October.
This success amounts to how Sam was able to make the Forbes 30 Under 30 Hall of Fame, naming him the wealthiest person in the world under 30. His net worth as of February 5, 2022, sits at $24.5 billion.
Portions of this revenue has been flowed into marketing for the company, as the FTX serves as “the official cryptocurrency exchange of the MLB.” FTX was noticeably seen throughout the World Series in signs, commercials and even patches on the umpires’ uniforms.
The company, too, houses the Miami Heat as the play in the FTX Arena. The rise of Sam’s business has been exponential, so much that he is richest person to have obtained wealth so rapidly behind Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.
What does the richest person under 30 plan to do with all this money?
Well, Sam prides himself on being a believer of “effective altruism,” a practice that involves making large amounts money to, in return, be donated back to boost one’s own influence.
One of his primary donations went towards the push for the removal of former US President Donald Trump from office. Sam donated a whopping $5.2 million to the Joe Biden campaign, which was the second greatest donation to the campaign following past New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
FTX Foundation contributes 1% of all net fees to active organizations around the world, while Sam himself has donated 0.1% of his own to issues surrounding voter registration, global poverty relief and artificial intelligence security.