FTX Token Rallies 500% In 2021 As Bankman-Fried’s Celebrity Status Grows
About a month or so ago, when the WallstreetBets saga started to unfold and Bitcoin broke through $40k, Scott Melker (Wolf of All Streets) launched a discussion on YouTube with several known crypto influencers. One of them was Sam Bankman-Fried, who at that point I had never heard of.
I must admit that he was clearly the most outspoken 28-year-old on the panel and also the most knowledgeable. Ever since then, the man has been covered in mass media as Bitcoin and crypto saw a surge in interest.
Bankman-Fried is the very young co-founder and CEO of FTX: Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange. He is also the CEO of Almeda Research and used to work as a trader at Jane Street Capital from 2014 to 2017. The man studied physics and has a bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Bankman-Fried got his big break in 2018 when he discovered what is now known as the Asian premium in the cryptosphere. At that moment, because of the surge of interest in Asia, Bitcoin was trading for higher prices there than it was in his native USA.
2) $1b of expenses. How do you spend $1b? Apparently split between:— SBF (@SBF_Alameda) February 25, 2021
--transaction expenses ($135m)
--G&A (prob payroll) ($280m)
Much of the cryptosphere was distracted by the 30 percent price gap between Korean and American Bitcoin, known in the annals of crypto as the Kimchee premium. Due to regulation, you couldn’t profit from it though.
FTT - I bet on people and Sam Bankman-Fried is someone I’m willing to bet on— Apollo Haze (@haze_apollo) February 23, 2021
But Bankman-Fried found a loophole and was able to trade the 10% premium on the Tokyo crypto exchanges and sell it for a guaranteed profit over in the US. Only problem was that you had to buy it in-person in Tokyo to sell it in San Francisco afterwards, which means the man crossed the Pacific by plane more times than most business people have done in their lifetime.
Sam and his friends moved up to $25 million in Bitcoin a day and the man became wealthy.
You can do the math. That was the craziest trade I’ve ever seen.
FTX and FTT
Fast forward to 2021 and Bankman-Fried is now a respected billionaire (and known Joe Biden backer) who is the CEO of his own exchange known as FTX. He’s known for blasting other exchanges such as Coinbase and Kraken, but does so in an easy to understand manner.
The man is quite busy with trading in crypto and famously spends all of his time at the firm, recently admitting he’s:
At the office, well usually 24 hours a day. I’ll sometimes just nap on a beanbag here and obviously shoot the shit with coworkers and sometimes with people online, but mostly its work.
He’s also launched a native crypto token, known as FTT.
The native token started trading in July 2019, shortly after the exchange started operating. It is issued on the Ethereum blockchain (its smart contract is available on Etherscan).
Thanks to the many media appearances of Bankman-Fried and the popularity of FTX, the FTT token is surging this year and has so far gained some 500% in 2021. It is currently ranked in the top 30 of CoinMarketCap already. Many of his fans admit that they simply decide to invest in FTT because of Bankman-Fried and they bet on the man rather than the coin.
At the moment of writing, FTT is down 9%, trading at $27. It started the year at $5,86.