FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Is World's Youngest Billionaire

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Sam Bankman-Fried - CEO of crypto derivatives exchange FTX and Alameda Research
Sam Bankman-Fried - CEO of crypto derivatives exchange FTX and Alameda Research

Crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried is the youngest billionaire in the world at just 29 years old. 

Last year, Bankman-Fried was no. 32 on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, with a net worth of $22.5 billion. But his fortune has seen a massive growth just three months after the list was released, and his net worth is estimated to be $26.5 billion as of Tuesday, according to Forbes.

Bankman-Fried earned the title of world's youngest billionaire by building and running FTX, a major cryptocurrency exchange that enables traders to buy and sell digital assets such as bitcoin and ethereum, according to Insider. He also launched Alameda Research, a firm that engages in quantitative cryptocurrency trading. 

Bankman-Fried, the son of two Stanford law professors, is a supporter of "effective altruism," or the notion of doing the most good possible. He pursues earning to give as an altruistic career.

Although he is not a true bitcoin believer, he started crypto trading in 2017 only because he wants his wealth to survive long enough to give it all away, according to Forbes.

In 2019, he launched FTX, which has now become one of the leading exchanges for buying and selling crypto derivatives. FTX reportedly raised $900 million from the likes of Coinbase Ventures and SoftBank in July 2021 at an $18 billion valuation. 

Following its meteoric rise, FTX established marketing contracts with high-profile brands including Major League Baseball and the Miami Heat. In June 2021, the Heat renamed its home stadium the "FTX Arena" as a result of the deal. 

Separately, his trading firm Alameda Research booked $1 billion in profit in 2020 making well-timed trades of its own.  

Most of Bankman-Fried’s wealth is reportedly tied up in FTX’s FTT tokens, which help users make trades and get discounts on the exchange, and ownership of about half of the cryptocurrency exchange. His assets have been described as "of speculative value" and "illiquid."

He reportedly owns nearly 60% of FTX and 90% of Alameda Research, according to Yahoo Finance.

In 2021, a screenshot of his digital wallet reportedly showed $10 billion in digital coins. However, $5 billion in coins were locked and not available for conversion, Yahoo Finance reported.

Bankman-Fried reportedly donated about $25 million, or about 0.1% of his fortune, to causes such as voter registration, global poverty mitigation and artificial intelligence safety, according to Forbes. He said he plans to donate most of his wealth to charity in the future.

FTX reportedly gives 1% of its revenue to charity each year. 

Photo: Sam Bankman-Fried

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