Alameda Research and FTX exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried has amassed a fortune, mostly via crypto assets over the past few years according to New York Magazine.
SBF, as he is known in crypto circles, spoke to the publication about his journey into the crypto industry since 2018. During the interview he estimated his own net worth at $10 billion, mostly in illiquid assets.
The former Wall Street quant trader got into crypto trading in 2018 after noticing significant arbitrage opportunities, and worked out a way to take advantage of the ‘Kimchi premium’ which was the difference in Bitcoin price between Korea and the rest of the world.
He ended up in Japan due to restrictions in Korea and moved up to $25 million per day through intermediaries and local banks at the height of the price discrepancy, the report says.
His crypto empire, under the umbrella of Alameda Research, currently turns over $2 billion per day meaning it has significant market power. SBF currently focuses on developing the FTX crypto derivatives exchange and DeFi project Serum based on the Solana blockchain.
In January the FTX Token (FTT) rallied over 100% as the exchange surpassed BitMEX and Deribit's open interest. It is currently just cooling off from an all-time high of $13.60.
SBF came to mainstream media attention last year after making a $5.2 million donation to Joe Biden’s political election campaign in November — the top contributor after billionaire Michael Bloomberg. The transaction he claims says was motivated by the Biden team’s “generic stability and decision-making process”. FTX, which recently created a Wall Street Bets index including GME, AMC, and DOGE, also offers prediction markets and over $100 million in bets were placed on the exchange on election night.
A self-confessed workaholic, SBF compares his own memory to computer RAM;
“One side advantage of the bean bags: if I sleep in the office, my mind stays in work mode, and I don't have to reload everything the next day.”