- TitleFounder and CEO
Sam Bankman-Fried isn’t your typical CEO. He served a brief stint as director of development at the Center for Effective Altruism, an organization promoting the philosophy of maximizing the good one does for other people. As a self-described practitioner of that philosophy, he has donated millions to various causes, including animal welfare, and made a hefty contribution to now-President Joe Biden’s campaign. But the 29-year-old billionaire is best known for building a fortune through FTX, the cryptocurrency derivatives exchange he founded in 2019 and heads up as CEO. Bankman-Fried, an MIT grad who launched his career on Wall Street as a trader at Jane Street Capital before entering the crypto world, has grown his Antigua and Barbuda–based exchange, which offers products like options, futures, and leveraged tokens, at a rapid clip. The business is now valued at $18 billion, and ranks among the top crypto derivative exchanges in the world by trading volume and “open interest” (the number of contracts outstanding). FTX isn’t Bankman-Fried’s only venture: Before launching the exchange, he founded Alameda Research, a crypto trading firm he continues to run.