Sam Bankman-Fried (born 6 March 1992) is an American investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder and CEO of FTX, a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, and of Alameda Research, a quantitative trading firm. As of late July 2021, Bankman-Fried's net worth is estimated to be over $16 billion, which makes him the world's richest person under 30 (Chan 2021) and the wealthiest known crypto billionaire (Bambysheva 2021).

Background

Bankman-Fried was born and raised in Stanford. He and his younger brother Gabe were introduced to moral philosophy at a young age by his parents, both consequentialists and professors at Stanford Law School. The brothers eventually became "take-no-prisoners utilitarians" (Fried 2020: xv).

During his third year as a physics major at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bankman-Fried was exposed to effective altruism at a talk by William MacAskill on the ethics of career choice (Gabriele 2021). At around that time, he had considered doing direct work for an organization focused on improving farmed animal welfare, but was persuaded by the argument that for him earning to give was a career with much higher degree of personal fit: by working in finance, he expected to donate enough money to pay for the salaries of several charity employees, each of whom roughly as impactful as he would himself be in that role. As he reasoned, "I would probably make enough money that the Humane League could hire many people and accomplish much more than it would if I went to work for them and started handing out leaflets." (Gose 2013)...

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