From Hong Kong to the Bahamas
The son of Stanford Law School professors and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Bankman-Fried worked as a broker on Wall Street before turning to cryptocurrency in 2017.
Note that there are huge price differences between online platforms where people can buy and sell cryptocurrencies and take advantage of the gaps by buying and selling digital assets with a very high frequency.
He said that the difference in prices in 2018 was from 5 to 25 percent between the US and Japanese exchanges, which means that once assets are transferred from one platform to another, he can make money.
“There was a huge demand for cryptocurrencies from Japan, and there were not nearly as many liquidity providers,” he added.
The young entrepreneur created a crypto investment fund, Alameda Research, moved to Hong Kong and then launched FTX with Gary Wang, who is now the platform’s chief technology officer.
Bankman-Fried now lives in the Bahamas, where taxes are virtually non-existent, and the platform is headquartered in the Caribbean country as well.
He defends his choice of location by the fact that it is “one of the few countries that have a comprehensive licensing system for cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency exchanges.”
In media appearances and on Twitter, where he goes by SBF, Bankman-Fried has been an outspoken advocate of smoother access to the crypto market for the general public, particularly in the United States.
“It would be healthy for all involved if there was a regulatory path to get a license and bring in federal oversight,” he said.
A subsidiary of US customers, FTX US, opened in 2020.
The success of FTX has enabled the platform to establish prestigious partnerships, including with newly retired American football legend Tom Brady and his wife, former Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen.
The company will also run an ad during the Super Bowl on Sunday, promising to give away a number of bitcoins that will be set any time the commercials air.
Bankman-Fried, who said he maintains a spartan lifestyle, identifies with the beliefs of “effective altruism,” a movement that aims to use careful analysis to see how one’s resources are used to help others the most.
said Bankman-Fried, who vowed to give away nearly all the fortune he would have made.
It is estimated that he has already donated between US$50 million and US$100 million to causes such as the fight for animal welfare, the fight against neglected tropical diseases and the reduction of global warming.
Cryptocurrencies have faced harsh criticism over the argument that they contribute to catastrophic global warming because the process of extracting them requires a lot of electricity, which can come from fossil fuels.
Bankman-Fried said he believes that the process of creating the cryptocurrency as well as transactions will increasingly be done using renewable energy.
Aware of the massive amounts of money he raises, Bankman-Fried, who was among the biggest donors to US President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign, has no problem publicizing the amounts.
“If you’re trying to make a lot of positive impact in the world, it’s likely to be things that people end up seeing,” he added.
“Beer buff. Devoted pop culture scholar. Coffee ninja. Evil zombie fan. Organizer.”