Sam Bankman-Fried is an American entrepreneur and former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
He was born on March 6, 1992, in California, and grew up in a highly educated family, with both of his parents being professors at Stanford Law School.
Bankman-Fried graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2014 with a degree in physics and a minor in mathematics.
He began his career as a trader at Jane Street Capital before leaving to start his own cryptocurrency hedge fund, Alameda Research, in 2017.
Bankman-Fried later founded FTX, which became the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange.
However, he was found guilty of fraud and conspiracy in November 2023 for his role in the collapse of FTX.
Who is Sam Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend?
According to multiple sources, Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend was Caroline Ellison.
These reports also showed that their relationship ended in the spring of 2022.
It is also worth mentioning that Ellison testified against Bankman-Fried in his trial for fraud and conspiracy in November 2023.
She was the former CEO of Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund, Alameda Research, and pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Ellison cooperated with the prosecution’s case against Bankman-Fried as part of her plea deal.
During her testimony, she described their romantic relationship and the power dynamics at play between the two, which raised the stakes of an already high-profile trial.
Ellison also testified that Bankman-Fried directed fraud on FTX customers and made terrible mistakes.
His testimony is likely to delve into both Alameda’s business practices and her personal relationship with Bankman-Fried.
The prosecution has painted a portrait of Bankman-Fried as a distant, controlling boyfriend who sometimes made Ellison cry.
During her cross-examination, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer sought to undermine her credibility, and the prosecution argued to the judge that Bankman-Fried was intimidating Ellison with laughs, scoffs and head shakes during her testimony.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s education and career
Bankman-Fried was born on March 6, 1992, in California, to Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, both of whom are scholars of tax law.
He grew up in a highly educated family and attended high school at Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough, California.
Bankman-Fried attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he received a bachelor’s degree in physics in 2014.
While studying at MIT, he began engaging with ‘effective altruism,’ a philosophical movement inspired in part by the utilitarian school of Peter Singer.
After graduating from MIT, Bankman-Fried worked as a trader at Jane Street, a global liquidity provider and trading firm, until 2017, when he left to found his own company, Alameda Research, a quantitative trading firm.
He also acted as CEO of that company until 2019.
In 2019, Bankman-Fried founded FTX, a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, and served as its CEO until 2022.
He has been known as a philanthropist from early in his career having donated 50 percent of his salary to pro-animal welfare organizations while he was a trader at Jane Street.
Bankman-Fried has also donated significant sums of money to democratic-sided politics, including being one of the largest CEO donors to Joe Biden in the 2020 election cycle.
What is FTX and how did it work?
FTX was a cryptocurrency exchange that allowed users to trade digital currencies for other digital currencies or traditional money.
It was founded in 2019 by Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang and was incorporated in Antigua and Barbuda, with headquarters in the Bahamas.
FTX offered a range of trading products, including derivatives, options, volatility products and leveraged tokens.
FTX had approximately 60 futures contracts, which could either have expiration dates or be perpetual contracts, and all of the contracts were priced in U.S. dollars against a cryptocurrency or an index of cryptocurrencies.
The platform offered daily, weekly, and quarterly-expiring contracts on the net price movement in the U.S. dollar value of the underlying cryptocurrency between the start and end of the period as well as leveraged directional (up, down) contracts.
FTX also sold up to 15 million FT tokens in March 2020, which conveyed an equity interest in the company to its holders.
However, FTX collapsed in November 2022 after it was discovered that customer funds went to accounts controlled by Alameda Research, a cryptocurrency trading firm headquartered in Hong Kong, instead of FTX.