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Sam Bankman-Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried, also known simply as SBF, is an American cryptocurrency trader.

He was a cofounder and CEO of the embattled cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the associated Alameda Research. He is the son of Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, and brother of Gabe Bankman-Fried.1)


Early life

SBF was born March 6, 1992 in Stanford, California on the campus of Stanford University.2) 3)

He attended Crystal Springs Uplands School, described as “a top Silicon Valley prep school.”4) 5) As a high school student, Bankman-Fried attended Canada/USA Mathcamp, a summer program for mathematically talented youth. There he met his future business partners Sam Trabucco (co-CEO of Alameda) and Gary Wang (co-founder and CTO of FTX).6) 7) Some of his high school assignments and activities are publicly available through his profile and posts on Art of Problem Solving.8)

Effective altruism

In 2012, during his third year as a physics major at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bankman-Fried was exposed to effective altruism at a talk by William MacAskill on the ethics of career choice.9) SBF was part of a fraternity at MIT called Epsilon Theta.

Upon graduating from MIT, Bankman-Fried joined Jane Street Capital, a quantitative trading firm and liquidity provider, where he worked as a trader and designed the firm's automated off-exchange trading system. While working at Jane Street, Bankman-Fried gave about half of his salary to charity, primarily to animal causes.10) After serving briefly as director of development at the Centre for Effective Altruism, he founded Alameda Research in 2017 and FTX two years later.11)

More recently, he has contributed to organizations working in global poverty, climate change, AI safety, biosecurity and pandemic preparedness.12)

Bankman-Fried signed Bill Gates' “The Giving Pledge” in June 2022.13)

2020 election

In 2020, SBF donated $5.2 million to Future Forward USA (a super-PAC affiliated with Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz) supporting Joe Biden, becoming one of the president's top donors.14) 15)

2022 election

During the 2021-2022 election cycle, he contributed $5,000 to BFB PAC.16) He also gave $6 million to House Majority Forward in 2022.17)

Arrest and charges

SBF was arrested in the Bahamas on December 12, 2022.18) A 14-page indictment was filed that alleged “numerous and varied” campaign finance violations, including conspiring with others to make, receive and hide illegal campaign contributions.

During SBF's trial in October 2023, his lawyers filed a motion petitioning the court to provide him doses of extended-release Adderall to help him focus on court proceedings.19)

Schleifer, T. (2022, November 11). The S.B.F. Pandemic. Puck.
Sam Bankman-Fried. EA Forum. Retrieved November 24, 2022, from
Parloff, R. (2021, August 12). Portrait of a 29-year-old billionaire: Can Sam Bankman-Fried make his risky crypto business work? Yahoo! Finance.
Chittum, M. (2022, December 14). Sam Bankman-Fried attended a top Silicon Valley prep school where his senior class prank reportedly included making $100 bills with his face on them called “Bankmans.” Markets Insider.
SamBF. (2009, February 23). Bay Area High School Puzzle Hunt. Art of Problem Solving.
McMahon, K., & Huang, V. G. (2021, December 28). Here are 10 of the most surprising little-known facts we learned about the 29-year-old crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried after months speaking to his closest friends, family, and colleagues. Business Insider.
Bankman-Fried, S. (2020, May 17). Raising the bar. FTX Research.
User Profile - SamBF. Art of Problem Solving. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from
Gabriele, M. (2021, August 1). FTX Trilogy, Part 1: The Prince of Risk. The Generalist.
Faux, Z. (2022, April 3). A 30-Year-Old Crypto Billionaire Wants to Give His Fortune Away. Bloomberg.
Deutch, G. (2021, July 28). The young crypto billionaire who wants to change political fundraising. Jewish Insider.
Schleifer, T. (2022, February 16). The Notorious S.B.F. Puck.
November 12, 2022 | @HRenkel (Twitter)
Wallace, B. (2021, February 2). The Mysterious Cryptocurrency Magnate Who Became One of Biden’s Biggest Donors. Intelligencer.
15) , 17) , 18)
Schwartz, B. (2022, December 19). How former crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried and friends quietly donated to political groups and relatives. CNBC.
BFB PAC PAC Donors. OpenSecrets. Retrieved December 31, 2022, from
Lawyers For Sam Bankman-Fried Petition Judge For More Adderall. (2023, October 16). ZeroHedge.
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