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Sam Bankman-Fried, the 29-year-old billionaire behind crypto exchange, FTX

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Sam Bankman-Fried, the 29-year-old billionaire behind crypto exchange, FTX
Janet John by Janet John June 16, 2021Reading Time: 2 mins read
Sam Bankman-Fried, the 29-year-old billionaire behind crypto exchange, FTX

It’s been over a year since the world experience a global change as a result of Covid-19. This change came with massive opportunities that opened up a new world for emerging markets like cryptocurrency. Digital currencies are gradually being adopted as a payment method by many big-name companies like Square.

Bitcoin prices soared in 2021 briefly exceeding $60,000 in March. Other currencies experienced similar gains. This massive rise in cryptocurrency has produced billionaires who have gone on to join the Forbes list. Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX is one of such billionaires.

The 29-year-old billionaire was born at Stanford, California. In 2014, he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics.

After graduating from college, he worked for New York-based Jane Street Capital where he acquired knowledge on trading a variety of crypto ETFs and equities. He developed the OTC trading system for the company.

In 2017, he left Jane Street Capital and founded his own trading firm alongside Gary Wang called Alameda Research. The name was gotten from Alameda County in California, the home county of Sam Bankman-Fried.

The trading company deals with quantitative digital currency trading alongside offering liquidity services. Some of the strategies it uses are direct trades between two parties (OTC) and arbitrage trading. Bankman-Fried manages $2.5 billion of assets.

Starting FTX
In 2019, Sam Bankman-Fried and Wang co-founded FTX, a digital currency derivative exchange built by traders for traders. The duo realized they had a wallet infrastructure in place, a matching engine within their reach and enough experience on traditional financial derivatives, and the know-how to develop the products, so they built FTX.

The platform has over 100,000+ installs on playstore. Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange platform bought FTX shares in the same year and, in the last quarter, marveled at its daily trading volume of close to 0.5 billion USD on all its products.

FTX later acquired Blockfolio to help its users manage their digital currency portfolios. The company has grown to be one of the most popular and fast-growing crypto marketplaces, hitting average trading volumes of beyond 250 billion USD per year.

In 2021, he launched the Serum project, a decentralized exchange on the Solana blockchain.

Sam Bankman-Frieds’ net worth
This year he became the wealthiest member of the tenth Forbes 30 Under 30 class and the richest known cryptocurrency billionaire. According to Forbes, Bankman-Fried’s net worth is estimated to be $8.7 billion.

What you should know
Bankman-Fried is also a philanthropist. He is a member of “Giving What We Can” and plans to donate a great majority of his wealth to effective charities over the course of his life.
In February, he launched the non-profit FTX Foundation, which has the mandate to give away 1% of FTX net fees and has already earmarked $8.9 million for donations.
He also donated $5 million to support U.S. President Joe Biden’s successful 2020 campaign.

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