Crypto Billionaire Shows How To Maximize Your Life’s Value
If greed were a virtue, then Sam Bankman-Fried is among the best greedy persons. Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg looks like a tortoise compared to the fastidious 29-year-old founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, who has recently been valued at more than 10 billion dollars. Nevertheless, Bankman Fried’s greed is unlike that of any of the world’s wealthy people. From the beginning, his ambition was to become wealthy so that he could give it all away.
By adhering to the “effective altruism” ideology, which argues that evidence should guide good deeds, Bankman-Fried set out to conduct a thorough evaluation of his own life and determine the most successful ways to help others. He briefly considered working for humanitarian causes or Wall Street while still in college, before determining that the only way to earn a return on the investment he was preparing to make with his own life, was to become wealthy.
As he spoke at the 2021 Forbes Under 30 Summit, Bankman-Fried described how his quest to find the most impactful way to give back to humanity led him to cryptocurrency, where he went on to build one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges and perhaps its most significant repository of crypto wealth. During an interview with Forbes Chief Content Officer Randall Lane, Bankman Fried noted, “Good is good however it comes. My ultimate goal is to figure out how I can have the largest impact on the world, whatever that entails.”
Oxford professor Toby Ord popularized effective altruism in the late 2000s, and bioethicist Peter Singer’s book “The Most Good You Can Do,” released by Yale University Press in 2015, made it mainstream. Since graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2014, Bankman-Fried has been debating whether or not it’s better to work for an organization that you believe in or to start your own business.
He was a quantitative trader at Jane Street before becoming captivated by the early days of bitcoin. He was fed up with traditional exchanges and “nonsensical” margining systems that allowed people to trade by borrowing funds and customer funds being lent out to “incompetent risk engines,” and he saw an opportunity to make money — big money — by going for a leadership position in the rapidly growing space.
2021’s Billionaires in Cryptocurrency
Banking-Fried said: “A few decades back, it was an extremely little business, and all of the sudden, it had grown into a massive one, and the players in it hadn’t been subjected to a similar evolutionary pressure as you often see for industries that size and are so new.” In the beginning, it appeared like, “Wow, these are extremely key institutions in crypto — much more so than exchanges for traditional finance — but they’re just not well developed”.
At the end of 2017, he created the quantitative trading firm, Alameda Research; the cryptocurrency exchange FTX which handles $5 billion in transactions per day; and Serum, a decentralized exchange. Changpeng Zhao, the creator, and CEO of Binance has paved the way for a nearly independent financial ecosystem in which Bankman-three Fried’s companies are better positioned to capture the value they create.
This year, he became the richest member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 class, and the richest known cryptocurrency millionaire, as a result of his efforts. His net worth is estimated at $11.5 billion, not including $23 billion that is cryptographically locked away to ensure that he doesn’t oversell.
With so much of his riches locked away, he is already beginning to build the groundwork for his favorite causes, like disease prevention and animal welfare, to be affected by the final landfall that is expected in the near future. Bankman Fried started the non-profit FTX Foundation in February with a mandate to give away 1% of FTX net fees and has already allocated $8.9 million for gifts, including $6 million from other contributors who want to follow his lead.
With his $5 million donations to Joe Biden’s successful 2020 campaign, Bankman-Fried has also established himself as a smart political donor. In response to Lane’s question, Bankman-Fried said he was most excited about a different kind of impact: the ability to influence elections by supporting politicians. “I had a lot of fun last year looking at politics, doing the math, and pondering what actually has an effect here.” Bankman-Fried asked, “How do you figure it out?” In my opinion, everything worked very well.” Furthermore, we’ll find out about many more things when we arrive there.”