Five years ago, Bankman-Fried began studying cryptocurrencies and how they’re traded on different platforms and in various countries. Today, he is the founder and CEO of FTX, the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume.
This is nothing short of a meteoric rise.
After founding and running the Alameda Research Trading Firm, in four months, Bankman-Fried and his team wrote the code that would become FTX. Their race to the top shows no signs of slowing.
“They have colossal risk appetite,” said Dan Matuszewski, co-founder of the crypto investment fund CMS Holdings.
Risks in business are inherent. What makes Sam Bankman-Fried unique is his scientific mind and the timing of his birth.
A Millennial Mindset
At thirty years old, Bankman-Fried falls right in the middle of the Millennial generation. This generation grew up with a seismic shift in technology and business–they learned early on that things don’t stay the same for long.
Millennials are criticized as being obsessed with technology, immature, spoiled, and noncommittal. While some of this rings true, many are building a radically new future–a tech-savvy universe where we all benefit from blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
A quintessential Millennial trait includes curiosity; if there is a better way to do something, they want to know about it. Constructive criticism and positive feedback are essential to their work. They see teamwork as invaluable: creating a collaborative environment is paramount.
These characteristics are critical for dreaming big, inventing new ways of doing things, and taking calculated risks. Reflecting on these generational distinctions makes Bankman-Fried less of an anomaly.
(photo credit: Fortune.com)
Bankman-Fried was born in 1992 to two Stanford Law professors, and his MIT schooling helped install a belief that bending the cosmos is plausible.
“Given the insane speed and riskiness of his climb to the top echelons of the financial world, almost anything else must seem low stakes by comparison. ” – Zeke Faux, Bloomberg.com.
So why is Bankman-Fried interested in giving his fortune away? The answer is effective altruism.
Effective altruism is a social movement and philosophy that maximizes the good one can do in a lifetime. Donating money is a noble endeavor, but one must ensure that their chosen causes are important. This means seeking out foundations that have the potential to do real good but may have been neglected.
Bankman-Fried learned about this philosophy while studying at MIT, decided it was a good fit for him, and hasn’t looked back.
Now his ever-present goal is to amass a grandiose paycheck and give most of it away.
As one of the wealthiest people in crypto, Bankman-Fried’s conduct in regard to his business, his company’s growth, and how and where he donates his earnings remain the subject of near-constant scrutiny.
Even so, he moves through meetings with tech giants and leaders worldwide without too much concern. He seems as comfortable in front of the United States Congress as he does in shorts at his Bahamas home.
One thing is for sure: this Millennial philanthropist will help shape the DeFi universe for years to come.
Interested in reading about other influential people in crypto? Take a look at how Kitty Grier and the NFT Girl Gang are disrupting the industry.
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