Few have had a bigger impact on cryptocurrency’s ascendance in mainstream culture over the past two years than Sam Bankman-Fried. The 30-year-old founder of the exchange platform FTX has become a key public face of crypto, using every tool imaginable to convince the public of its strengths, whether that’s hiring Larry David for a Super Bowl commercial, renaming the Miami Heat’s arena after his company, donating millions to political campaigns, or testifying in front of Congress.
Bankman-Fried is working to reshape the way the world sees crypto because he believes in its transformative power for good. As an effective altruist, Bankman-Fried believes crypto can help democratize financial markets and reduce poverty and corruption. And Bankman-Fried puts his money where his mouth is: while many other crypto mavens flaunt their Lamborghinis and yachts, Bankman-Fried—who’s worth around $20 billion—often sleeps on a beanbag in his office and has pledged he will give 99% of his earnings to philanthropic causes. In a crypto landscape ridden with scams, hedonism, and greed, Bankman-Fried offers a kinder and more impactful vision brought forth by the nascent technology.
Chow is a TIME correspondent
- About That Devastating Tom-Shiv Scene in Succession's Premiere
- Why Humza Yousaf's Win Is 'Historic' for Scotland
- For Both Donald Trump and Alvin Bragg, the Central Park Jogger Case Was a Turning Point
- If Donald Trump Is Indicted, Here's What Would Happen Next in the Process
- Alison Roman Won't Sugarcoat It
- Why Not All Observant Muslims Fast During Ramadan
- It's Time to Say a Loving Goodbye to John Wick
- Who Should Be on the 2023 TIME100? Vote Now
- Column: Ozempic Exposed the Cracks in the Body Positivity Movement