We spoke to crypto mega-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried about his board-game-playing beginnings, the future of FTX, and his political ambitions. Here are the 5 biggest takeaways.

Sam Bankman-Fried co-founded FTX.


Sam Bankman-Fried built a trading empire that was worth $30 billion in a few short years.
The founder has been working around the clock to fulfill his goal of becoming a major philanthropist.
Insider's recent profile of FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried contained five big revelations.
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Sam Bankman-Fried is well known in the industry for building a $30 billion empire in a short time.

FTX has just over two years of existence and is looking for a $32 billion valuation in a funding round. Bankman-Fried's early days were spent playing board games while multitasking and living in Silicon Valley.

Bankman-Fried, former and current FTX employees, and close acquaintances of the billionaire discussed to Insider how quickly the exchange was able to grow.

Insider's recent profile of FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried contained five big revelations.

Sam Bankman- Fried was a workaholic.

"Bankman-Fried slept four hours a night on a beanbag chair next to his desk and took calls from clients and investors at 3 a.m. to build a competitive platform in such a short period of time."

Bankman-Fried had just gone to bed when a client called and he had been up for 30 hours straight. An FTX employee who had just seen Bankman-Fried lie down did not have the heart to wake him up and re-schedule with the client.
"He said 'No, you wake me up next time, there's no question about it'."

It was built with few employees.

FTX has between 10 and 25 employees who work on the exchange and its subsidiaries. By comparison, the engineering department at Coinbase has around 120 open roles.

Bankman-Fried said that he was most worried about FTX becoming slow and dysfunctional. We've seen it happen at a lot of companies, so I hope we won't.

FTX has strong compliance.

FTX is notbogged down by regulations, fines, and sanctions.

"Amy Wu, a venture capitalist at Lightspeed who invested in FTX's most recent funding round, said that as far as she's aware, FTX is the only exchange to avoid negative press around regulation."

She said that FTX is one of the most compliant and closest to regulators of any exchange in the world.
The nature of Sam Bankman- Fried.

"Our moral obligation is to make as much of a difference as possible," Bankman-Fried's brother said. "I think that was something that we took very seriously from the beginning."

The brothers are proponents of effective altruism, a philosophy that emphasizes using one's resources to accomplish the most good for others.

Political ambitions?

Bankman-Fried has already entered the political realm as one of President Biden's biggest donors in the 2020 campaign, and he appears well-positioned to tackle D.C.'s intensifying spotlight on the cryptocurrencies through his formation of relationships with regulators, according to multiple insiders.

"In 10 years, I'm expecting that SBF will be one of the richest people in the world, tackling some of humanity's most critical issues," Noah said. He's well-located, with the right motivation behind him, and a career in politics would not be the most surprising to me.
Business Insider has an original article.