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Sam Bankman-Fried is the richest billionaire under 30 in the world. This is how 'the new Mark Zuckerberg' made his fortune.

At the age of less than 30, Sam Bankman-Fried managed to amass a fortune of $ 22.5 billion, placing himself on the list of the richest people in the world, an achievement that only Mark Zuckerberg had achieved at a young age.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

The name Sam Bankman-Fried may not be familiar to you today, but there are already those who call him 'the new Mark Zuckerberg' . With a net worth of $ 22.5 billion , this year he became the richest billionaire under the age of 30 in the world . Only the creator of Facebook had managed to amass such a fortune at such a young age.

Sam Bankman-Fried vía Facebook

At just 29 years old , Sam Bankman-Fried came in at number 32 on Forbes magazine's list of the richest people in the world. He is also proud to be the richest person in the crypto world , far surpassing Coinbase's Brian Armstrong ($ 10.2 billion), Gemini's famous Winklevoss twins ($ 4.3 billion each), and Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin . , who no longer even appears in the ranking.

The young billionaire has built his fortune with a series of strategic investments in cryptocurrencies , first as a merchant and now as the founder and CEO of FTX , a digital asset exchange that allows to buy and sell tokens such as Bitcoin and Ethereum .

Beyond his fortune and accomplishments, Bankman-Fried became a billionaire almost unintentionally.

“I got involved in cryptocurrencies with no idea what cryptocurrencies were. It seemed like there were a lot of good operations to do ” , the FTX CEO acknowledged in an interview with Forbes .

Guided by the idea of "earning to give" , his goal is to obtain as much money as possible so that, in the future, he can give it away in the style of Robin Hood, although he has not specified how or to whom.

Another detail that makes this tycoon an interesting character is that, ironically, he does not believe in cryptocurrencies . He even claimed that he would give up cryptocurrencies if he could make more money doing something else, such as selling orange juices, the same outlet cites.

How did Sam Bankman-Fried make his fortune?

The now billionaire is the son of two Stanford University law professors, graduated from a private high school in the California Bay Area, and in 2014 he completed a Bachelor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) .

During college, Sam spent more time playing video games than studying, and was more interested in morals and ethics than science. "It would have been great if I was more hippie and less scientific," he once confessed.

"I am (in) famous for playing League of Legends while on phone calls. I will also try to avoid resetting my RAM if possible. An added bonus of 'bean bags': if I sleep in the office, my mind stays in work mode and I don't have to recharge everything the next day, "wrote Sam Bankman-Fried on Twitter.

Bankman-Fried is vegan and has a strong altruistic approach inspired by figures like Princeton philosopher Peter Singer and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz . After graduating from MIT, he landed a job at the finance firm Jane Street Capital on a six-figure salary, part of which he donated to philanthropic causes.

The now CEO of FTX set his sights on cryptocurrencies in 2017, when Bitcoin had its first big rise, going from $ 2,500 to almost $ 20,000 per token in just six months. Sam saw an opportunity to buy Bitcoin in the United States and sell it in Japan for up to 30% more.

At the end of that year, the young man quit his job, took a million dollars that he had saved and got another million with loans from friends and family. With that investment, he founded Alameda Research , a quantitative trading company, dedicated to creating strategies based on mathematical calculations to identify business opportunities.

Along with other recent graduates, he settled into an Airbnb in Berkeley, California, and began working in arbitration. By January 2018, the small startup was moving up to $ 25 million worth of Bitcoin a day, but was soon frustrated because it couldn't convert the Japanese yen to dollars quickly.

And then he founded FTX, his own cryptocurrency exchange ...

In 2019, he took a share of Alameda Research 's profits and raised $ 8 million with some venture capital firms to found FTX , his own cryptocurrency exchange.

In its early days, FTX operated out of a WeWork in Hong Kong with just a dozen employees. The new exchange grew so fast, it soon reached a valuation of $ 18 million and sold a portion to Binance for around $ 70 million . However, in July 2021 he repurchased Binance's 15% stake in FTX for $ 2.3 billion .

Last September, Sam moved his headquarters to the Bahamas, and since the company's overhead costs are very low, its profit margins are high - close to 50% .

In the past year, FTX had nearly risk-free revenue of $ 750 million and profit of $ 350 million . At the same time, Alameda Research made a profit of $ 1 billion in 2020.

Despite its altruistic intentions, Bankman-Fried has only donated $ 25 million to causes such as voter registration, global poverty alleviation, and artificial intelligence security. Such a figure represents only 0.1% of his fortune , leaving him as the least charitable member of the Forbes 400 index.

Sam assures that "there is a lot of work to do" , since "important donations are not a short-term goal, they are long-term."

"There is a wide world out there, but we should not think that cryptocurrencies will be the most fertile ground to work for forever," he said.