Sam Bankman-Fried: The rise and fall of the Jewish king of crypto

Also known as SBF, Bankman-Fried was a 30-year-old multi-billionaire who founded the profitable cryptocurrency exchange FTX. And then it all came crashing down.

 Representations of cryptocurrencies are seen in front of displayed FTX logo and decreasing stock graph (photo credit: REUTERS)
Representations of cryptocurrencies are seen in front of displayed FTX logo and decreasing stock graph
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Sam Bankman-Fried was once known as the king of crypto, with his FTX cryptocurrency exchange making him a billionaire and putting him on top of the market.

And seemingly overnight, it all came crashing down – along with his net worth.

But who is the 30-year-old cryptocurrency wunderkind, and where is he now? 

Here is everything you need to know.

  FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried poses for a picture, in an unspecified location, in this undated handout picture, obtained by Reuters on July 5, 2022. (credit: FTX/Handout via REUTERS) FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried poses for a picture, in an unspecified location, in this undated handout picture, obtained by Reuters on July 5, 2022. (credit: FTX/Handout via REUTERS)

Who is Sam Bankman-Fried, AKA SBF?

Bankman-Fried hails from an upper-middle-class family of Jewish academics and grew up steeped in higher education.

Starting out his career at Jane Street, SBF opened up the Alameda Research trading firm and soon got into the cryptocurrency game.

By late 2018, Bankman-Fried opened up the FTX cryptocurrency exchange. 

Based in the Bahamas, FTX achieved renown as one of the most stable and reliable players in the crypto field.

In his position, SBF made use of his assets for what he described as Effective Altruism, bailing out ailing digital asset firms and donating his money, including to many causes aligned with the Democratic Party. 

What is Sam Bankman-Fried's net worth?

At his peak, SBF's crypto investments and business activities proved to be incredibly profitable. Estimates had placed SBF's net worth at $26 billion at his peak, though he averaged around $10-$16 billion in October.

Despite this, SBF famously eschewed most material pleasures associated with the super-rich, having little in the way of physical material assets like fancy cars, clothes or jewelry.

But everything changed come November when FTX came crashing down.

This happened on November 8 when Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced it would try to purchase FTX, which had undergone a liquidity crisis after the firm sold its holdings in the FTX token FTT, completely tanking the token's worth. By November 9, Binance pulled out.

By the end of it all, SBF lost his billionaire status. SBF made a new record for the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which said that his net worth dropped by 94% in just a single day, plummeting to a mere $991 million, though current estimates say he has no material wealth whatsoever and a net worth far closer to 0.

He resigned as CEO of FTX, which has since declared bankruptcy

Where is Sam Bankman-Fried now?

Currently, SBF is now residing at his home in the Bahamas, he told Reuters.

This is despite claims made by FlightRadar24 that Bankman-Fried had fled to Argentina.

Currently, SBF and other executives from FTX are being watched by the Bahamanian authorities. However, the fintech news outlet Cointelegraph claims that Bankman-Fried may be trying to flee to Dubai.