Sam Bankman-Fried woke up Monday still a billionaire, even as his cryptocurrency empire began to unravel. By Friday, his fortune was completely wiped out.
Based on net worth calculations from Bloomberg, Bankman-Fried was worth about $16 billion at the start of the week. But when his crypto exchange, FTX, collapsed, the value of his assets was reduced to zero in what Bloomberg called “one of history’s greatest ever destructions of wealth.”
FTX said Friday it was filing for bankruptcy, and Bankman-Fried, known as SBF, stepped down as CEO.
The 30-year-old entrepreneur’s net worth, which was largely tied up in digital assets, peaked at around $26 billion this spring. Over the summer, as crypto prices tumbled, Bankman-Fried emerged as a white knight for the sector, using his FTX exchange and its sister hedge fund, Alameda, to secure lines of credit for at-risk crypto companies like BlockFi and Voyager. collapses.
He told Reuters in July that he and FTX still had “a few billion” on hand to prop up other firms and help stabilize the industry.
Bankman-Fried owns about 70% of FTX’s US business, which the index now estimates to be essentially worthless. His stake in online brokerage Robinhood, previously valued at more than $500 million, was removed from Bloomberg’s calculation after news reports said the stake was held through Alameda and may have been used as collateral for loans.
As a proponent of “effective altruism,” Bankman-Fried has tried to make as much money as possible to give away. But the fate of his philanthropic endeavors is now in doubt.
On Thursday, the entire staff of the FTX Future Fund, which says it has awarded $160 million in grants, publicly quit. In a statement, the five-person team wrote that they “have fundamental questions about the legitimacy and integrity of the business operations that financed the FTX Foundation and the Future Fund.”