Bloomberg releases SBF feature: billionaires and altruists planning to donate 99% of their wealth

Chain catcher 2022-04-04 19:25:01 阅读数:415

bloomberg releases sbf feature billionaires

The original author :Zeke Faux, Bloomberg senior reporter

The original title :《A 30-Year-Old Crypto Billionaire Wants to Give His Fortune Away

compile : Hu Tao , Chain catcher

The New York economic club has received many kings 、 The prime minister and the President , And Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan . Central bankers have... Here 115 Statements in organizations with a history of years have affected the market .30 Year old cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried ( Hereinafter referred to as SBF) Maybe the first person to play computer games while giving a speech .

As 2 A special guest on the morning of January ,SBF Looks as clumsy as usual , Reclining on the game chair , Wearing blue shorts and gray T T-shirt , Promote his cryptocurrency exchange FTX, His curly hair was flattened by his headphones . His office in the Bahamas passed Zoom Make a speech .

Leave the camera , His desk is littered with scattered objects of people who more or less live at work : Crumpled banknotes from the United States and Hong Kong , Nine tube Lip Balm , A deodorant , A can 1.5 Pounds of sea salt , It's marked with “SBF Salt shaker ”, And a packet of chickpea curry he had for lunch the day before . His assistant said that the bean bag he slept in most working days was very close , He can almost roll up .

When he answered questions about how the United States should regulate its industry , He came up with a model called Storybook Brawl Fantasy games , Choose to play “Peter Pants”, And prepare to work with a person named “Funky Kangaroo” People fight .

“ We expect great growth in the US market ,”SBF While the speech , While casting a spell on a knight in his fairy tale Army .

about SBF Come on , The freshness of this appearance has long disappeared , He's been here since last year 12 He has testified in Congress twice since June . Last weekend, , He was in FTX spokesman NBA Star Stephen · The super bowl was watched from the box seat in front of the library . With basketball legend Shaquille · Have lunch with O'Neill , And attended a party hosted by the head of Goldman Sachs Group . singer Sia Invite him with Bezos and actor Leonardo · DiCaprio had dinner at the mansion in Beverly Hills , Kate · Hudson sang the National Anthem there , He talked to pop star Katie Perry about cryptocurrency . the second day , She is in Instagram I told her in class 1.54 Billion fans , Active endorsement ,“ I quit music , Become @ftx_official The intern of , ok .”

SBF Is so listless , So that when he enters confidential information protected by most executives , He asked me to look at his six screens behind him . That morning , He appeared in NPR On ( National public radio ), And to Puck And a reporter from the New York Times . His senior strategist in Washington once wrote , Democratic senator from New Jersey Cory Booker Will agree to the regulatory approach he likes .SBF Received a message , call MoneyGram International Inc. It's on sale , And spent a few seconds thinking about whether the company was a good choice . An assistant told him , The head of an investment bank is in the Bahamas , I want to visit him for five minutes .“ Um. ,”SBF Reply . In the evening , He plans to fly to Munich for the Security Conference , Meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia .

Considering his crazy speed and risk of climbing the top echelon of Finance , by comparison , Almost anything else seems insignificant . Five years ago ,SBF Working for a charity , The organization advocated “ Effective altruism ” idea : Use scientific reasoning to find out how to do the best for most people . Then he found a seemingly incredible pricing anomaly in bitcoin , And decided that for him , The right way is to earn a lot of money to give away . Now? , According to Bloomberg billionaire index , Among venture capitalists, recently 400 A total valuation investment of $billion FTX And its U.S. subsidiaries ,SBF Is one of the richest people in the world , Have more than 200 Billion dollars of wealth .

Despite having wealth ,SBF Tell me his core idea is consistent . He will keep enough money to maintain a comfortable life : Of his income 1%, Or at least every year 100,000 dollar . besides , He still plans to donate all of it —— Every dollar or bitcoin , As the case may be . He's an encrypted Robin Hood , Beat the rich in their own game , Win money for the losers of capitalism .

However , He is now part of the power structure that led to the problem he said he wanted to solve . He made great political contributions , And pushed his company's agenda in Washington . up to now , He donated less money to charity than his naming rights at the Miami Heat Stadium (19 Annual cost :1.35 Billion dollars ) And Super Bowl ads ( The estimated cost is 3000 Thousands of dollars ). He thought there was no contradiction . He's investing in , To maximize their role , Even if he risks what he has achieved in encryption technology .

As by far the richest person to stand out from the effective altruism movement ,SBF It is an ideological experiment from the university philosophy Seminar . A person who wants to save the world should first accumulate as much money and power as possible , Still corrupt because of pursuit ?

SBF His peers describe him , Sounds like a strange capitalist monk . Some people say he worked very hard in his early days , That he seldom takes a bath . Another said he vowed not to fall in love because he didn't have time . It seems that he even thinks that sleep is an unnecessary luxury .“ Every minute you sleep costs X Thousand dollars , This directly means that you can save so many lives ,” Colleagues and childhood friends Matt Nass say .

Now ,SBF Live in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas .FTX Plan to build one with 1000 Park with employees , Overlooking the sea . at present , Its headquarters is located in a single storey building with a red roof near the airport . The name written on the post it note is still stuck on the table , Looks like it's about 60 A staff member hasn't had time to open his luggage .

SBF My life is like a college student who always memorizes for the final exam . He drives a Toyota Corolla , When he's not in the office , He will be in a 10 Have a party in the apartment of about roommates , Although it's the penthouse in the best resort on the island .SBF Express , He has as many as five colleagues and billionaires . Everyone is about his age . His friends will calmly assess the odds in any case , Whether it's in a board game , Or after he was pushed into his bean bag to weigh a tricky deal . He told me , Although he doesn't like wasting time by saving , But he doesn't think shopping is of much value .

“ The effective ways to spend money to make yourself happier are quickly used up ,”SBF say ,“ I don't want a yacht .”


The cryptocurrency industry seems to be a strange choice for philanthropists : It encourages endless scams , Turning ransomware into an industry , And consumes a lot of energy —— It is estimated that , As many countries as Malaysia .SBF Don't think so . He said ,FTX Running an honest market , Check the customer's background , Buy carbon credits to offset their emissions , And more efficient than the mainstream financial system . But it's clear , His main attraction is to get rich quickly .

He smiled and shared a chart , The chart shows FTX Is growing faster than his biggest competitor , for example Binance. Great market .FTX Just the cryptocurrency exchange with the third largest trading volume , But on a good day 150 Billion dollar deal . Users buy and sell bitcoin 、 The etheric fang 、 Dog coins and hundreds of other strange cryptocurrencies , Not Microsoft's stock .

SBF He turned his eyes to Coinbase The dominant U.S. market . He wants to provide cryptocurrency Futures 、 Swaps and options , He sees this as a potential daily 250 Billion dollar market . If he succeeds in taking over Ji ye , The mainstream financial industry will be the next takeover target .“ We're kind of playing in the children's pool now ,”SBF say ,“ Ideally , I hope FTX Become the world's largest source of financial transactions .”

From Uber Travis Kalanick To technology tycoon Peter Thiel, Novelist Ayn Rand My self first morality has always been the inspiration of ruthless Entrepreneurs .SBF The capitalist Muse is a utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer, He is a professor and animal rights advocate at Princeton University .SBF First contact Singer My job was when he was a teenager living in Berkeley, California . His parents are law professors at Stanford University . His mother also runs an influential data-driven democratic donor group , His father was trained as a clinical psychologist .

stay 1970 In works since the S ,Singer Raises a seemingly simple ethical question : If you pass a child drowning in a shallow pool , You'll stop and pull him out , Even if it will stain your clothes ? Then he argued , If you do —— Who wouldn't do that ?—— You have a responsibility to save a distant person from hunger by donating money to international aid organizations . Not giving a lot of money is as bad as drowning a child .

SBF Consent , Although he is not always sure what to do .“ If you take it seriously , This is very harsh ,” He said ,“ But I do think it's basically right . If this is the right thing to do , Then I don't want to deny it , Because it seems difficult .” To 2012 year , When he was a junior in the Department of physics at MIT , He described himself as like Singer The same utilitarian , And became a vegetarian . He joined a company called Epsilon Theta Fellow fraternity , There? , The members didn't throw beer , But playing board games all night , Sleep in an attic full of bunk beds .SBF Recruited others “Thetans” Distribute pamphlets for an anti factory farm organization .


philosopher Peter Singer

That year ,SBF Took part in Will MacAskill Speech activities , He is a 25 Year old Oxford doctoral student , He tried to Singer Your idea becomes a movement . He and his collaborators aim to use mathematical calculations to figure out how individuals use their money and time to do their best . They call it “ Effective altruism ”.

At lunch ,MacAskill towards SBF Told him another idea :“ Hard work ”. He said , For things like SBF For someone with mathematical talent like that , Looking for a high paying job on Wall Street , Then it may make sense to donate his income to charity .GiveWell Is an effective altruism organization based in Oakland, California , The group said , Every cost 4500 $to buy insecticide treated mosquito nets to fight malaria in Africa , You can save a life .MacAskill Estimated at that time , A successful banker donated half his income , Can save... In his career 10000 Life .

MacAskill The idea is controversial . Some people say , The purpose does not justify the means —— Wall Street perpetuates inequality , Undermining any possible benefits of donation .(MacAskill Think , Altruists should not engage in work that endangers society , But most of the financial industry is neutral .) Others say , The movement flatters the rich by portraying them as heroes , But failed to address the root causes of poverty .“ Effective altruism does not attempt to understand how power works , Just to better align with it ,” Professor of philosophy at Oxford University Amia Srinivasan stay 2015 Years of MacAskill In a review of a book written by .

but MacAskill The publicity attracted the young utilitarian .MacAskill Smile and remember SBF A realistic answer :“ He basically said ,‘ Yes , It makes sense .’ ”

another MacAskill My assistant went to the high frequency trading company in New York Jane Street Group Work .SBF Also found a job there , Three years after graduation , He has been working as a trader , Donate half of his six figure salary every year to animal welfare organizations and other charities recognized for effective altruism . But he became restless . He went MacAskill The center of effective altruism . Then he stumbled upon a cryptocurrency website , I found something strange .

That is 2017 year , Cryptocurrency is in the middle of its first boom . The price of bitcoin soared 10 times , Investors in hundreds of “ Initial token issue ” or ICO Nearly 100 million yuan has been invested in 50 Billion dollars , Many of them have little to hide the scam . Like many on Wall Street ,SBF Don't know cryptocurrency . What caught his attention was A page on , This page quotes prices from exchanges around the world .

Although cryptocurrency supporters talk about a decentralized financial revolution , But most activities rely on private exchanges to match buyers and sellers . Want to buy bitcoin 、 Lightcoin or Ethereum people only need to put their dollars 、 Send yen or euro to the exchange , Trade back and forth for a period of time , Then withdraw cash .

SBF It is found that the price of some tokens is much higher than that of other tokens on some exchanges . This is him at Jane Street Learn to take advantage of the arbitrage opportunity of buying low and selling high . But there he built a complex mathematical model of trading , Designed to make money from small price differences . On the cryptocurrency exchange , The difference is hundreds of times larger .“ It's too easy ,”SBF Recollection ,“ Something's wrong .”

Some data are false , Some deals are unlikely to succeed . Capital controls prevent traders from repatriating cash from South Korea , Bitcoin prices in South Korea are higher than those in the United States 30%, But in Japan without these rules , Bitcoin is still trading at a premium 10%. Theoretically , Someone can buy bitcoin on the US exchange and send it to the Japanese exchange for sale , Earn... Every day 10%. At this rate , More than four months later ,10000 The dollar will become 10 Billion dollars .

SBF Recruited several friends to help him complete the project .Gary Wang I'm a roommate at MIT , I was studying flight data for Google .Caroline Ellison, come from Jane Street Our traders ; And his brother's friends Nishad Singh, He was Facebook The engineer . Everyone is an effective altruist , They agree with SBF That's what I'm saying , Think this is their best chance to make a lot of money . They moved into a three bedroom house in Berkeley , Start arbitrage .

Trade barriers are mainly practical .SBF Name his company Alameda Research, Sounds harmless . But bank of America thinks cryptocurrency is so crude , So that some people won't let him open an account . The Japanese exchange will only allow Japanese to withdraw money in yen . therefore , He opened a subsidiary in Japan and hired local representatives . For all that , This business sounds suspicious , The bank teller will question his overseas wire transfer . He had a lot of trouble in remitting money , That he began to consider contracting a plane , Fly to Japan , Does it make sense for a large group of people to withdraw cash and take it home .( It has no .)

once SBF Find a willing bank , Every day becomes a competition . If they didn't remit the money out of Japan before the branch closed , They'll miss the day 10% The return of . Completing this cycle requires a precise logistics of a robbery movie . A team spends three hours a day at an American bank to make sure the remittance goes smoothly , And in Japan , Another team waited for hours in front of the cashier team , Until you need a wire transfer back . At its peak ,Alameda Send back and forth every day 1500 Thousands of dollars , And produce 150 Ten thousand dollars in profits . In a few weeks , Before the spread disappears , The company has made about 2000 Thousands of dollars .


Few bets have paid off so easily , But there are other bets close to . Compared with the stock market , Cryptocurrency provides a rich target , Because ordinary investors flock to , Only a few savvy currency players are looking for arbitrage .2018 year ,SBF Participated in the bitcoin conference held in Macao , There he met some other big players in the market , And decided to stay at the center of the action . He was in Slack Tell his colleagues on the , He won't go back to Berkeley . Final , Many of them came to Hong Kong , There are looser rules and regulations here than in the United States .

To 2019 year , If SBF Choose to donate the money to the right charity ,Alameda You lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits every day , According to the logic of effective altruists , It's enough to save a life . contrary , He and his colleagues decided to reinvest their bonuses , Some are used to establish their own cryptocurrency exchange .

The market is in a regrettable state . They are off-road vehicles , Often collapse when prices plummet or soar . Some exchanges to Alameda Charge for , To compensate the exchange for the losses caused by providing margin loans to customers —— This practice is unheard of on the New York Stock Exchange . One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges BitMEX Under investigation in the United States .( Its two founders were in 2 May admitted violating 《 Bank secrecy law 》, And could face years in prison .)

SBF The staff of spent four months writing the code of a new exchange , The exchange was established on 2019 year 5 Opening in June .FTX Catering to the needs of large traders , Dozens of different tokens are available for trading , Including complex derivatives , Such as token or index futures with built-in leverage , Even bet on elections and stock prices . It provides margin loans , Therefore, traders can improve their returns and risks . Customers can borrow up to of their collateral 101 times —— Slightly more leverage than competitors .( After being criticized ,FTX Last year, the limit was reduced to 20 times .) and , It's crucial , Traders can use cash as collateral to borrow any token they want , And some competitors are not allowed to do so .

It's very popular , Part of the reason is that many people want to use exchanges and Alameda Make a deal . By then 7 month , The daily trading volume reaches 3 Billion dollars , To 2020 Annual average 10 Billion dollars .FTX Cut most orders by two basis points ( One basis point is 1% Of 1%)—— That is to say 45,000 dollar (3 Price in the second half of the month ) The cost of buying a bitcoin is about 9 dollar .SBF Express , The total revenue of the exchange last year was 11 Billion dollars , The profit is about 3.5 Billion dollars (Alameda Only in 2021 I earned extra money in 10 $100 million profit ).

Encryption Investment Fund CMS Holdings Co-founder of Dan Matuszewski Express ,SBF Deal with customer service every day and ask for ideas for new things to trade .“ They have a huge risk appetite ,”Matuszewski say , stay FTX Someone who trades and invests in an exchange .“ They will try things that continue to fail . It's calculated , And smart .”


SBF At the Senate hearing in February   ​​​​ The photographer :Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg

If SBF Stay in Berkeley ,FTX Many of the products offered will not be completely legal . Chairman of the securities and Exchange Commission Gary Gensler Express , Most cryptocurrencies should be like stocks and FTX And other traditional markets . He said , Those who ignore the rules don't obey the law .“ This asset class is full of fraud 、 Fraud and abuse ,”Gensler In a speech last year, he said .“ Now? , We don't have enough investor protection in encryption .”

FTX Incorporated in the Caribbean country of Antigua and Barbuda , Americans were initially banned from trading , Even though Matuszewski When many professionals can access it , Because they already control the offshore company .

But the encryption market in the United States is huge . competitors Coinbase More than 6 Hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue , Although it only provides what it believes does not belong to SEC Regular tokens .2020 year ,SBF Opened an American exchange , The number of tokens traded is limited . after that , He has been engaged in a marketing blitz . Except for Super Bowl ads and Miami FTX Beyond the name of the arena , He also paid for 2.1 $billion sponsored a game team , And signed up, including quarterbacks Tom Brady、 Spokesmen including tennis star Naomi Osaka . He is now pushing Congress to make new rules , Allow him to provide more tokens and cryptocurrency derivatives .

He said ,SEC Cryptocurrencies should be supervised jointly with the commodity futures trading commission , The latter is generally considered to be more industry friendly . He hired a former CFTC The Commissioner acts as the head of regulatory strategy , Bought a derivatives exchange licensed by the agency , And make an appointment with both parties 12 Members of Congress donated the highest 5800 dollar .(2020 year , He donated... To a committee that supports Biden 500 Thousands of dollars , Become one of the president's biggest donors .) SBF say , He is trying to develop a framework for federal oversight , And turn the debate from “ Prohibition or laissez faire ” Wait for the extremes to shift .

Professor of law at Willamette University Rohan Grey Worked with the Democratic Party to formulate encryption regulations , He said , The market needs strict rules to protect consumers from fraud , And prevent its volatility from damaging the broader financial system . In his opinion , image SBF Such lobbying will hinder these efforts .“ Whenever people come up with stricter regulations , People like him will go out and try to stop it from happening ,”Grey say ,“ Of course , And a lot of money .”


Miami FTX arena    The photographer :4k-Clips / Alamy

image SBF Such young tech entrepreneurs have turned effective altruism into a force for philanthropy . exceed 7000 A group of people operating through an effective altruism center promises at least 10% Professional income .Facebook founder Dustin Moskovitz Donate hundreds of millions of dollars a year to charities recognized by the movement as valid . Tesla's Musk hired a person who changed from a professional poker player to an effective altruist , Give him donation advice .

SBF Tell me , He donated last year 5000 Thousands of dollars , Including pandemic relief and anti global warming initiatives for India . This year he said he would donate at least hundreds of millions to billions of dollars , As many as the largest foundations . Like other effective altruists ,SBF Attracted by the threat that could lead to human extinction . In his opinion , Even the slightest chance , It may also be more valuable than alleviating pain today . Some dangers sound like the plot of science fiction : Rogue AI 、 Deadly biological weapons and space war .

SBF Now it means , His first task is to prepare for a pandemic . He said , Future outbreaks could be as deadly as Ebola , image Covid-19 As contagious . He is funding an advocacy group led by his brother , The group is pushing the government to increase spending , He investigated the non-profit news group ProPublica Donated 500 Million dollars to cover this topic . He said :“ We should expect , The pandemic will get worse over time , And more often , This is only because of the possibility of laboratory leakage .” “ If we're not ready for this , This will most likely undermine the stability of the world .”

I asked SBF, Has he ever doubted that he devoted his whole life to making money and donations . Before answering , He covered his face with his hand for a few seconds .“ This is not a decision that I need to constantly reassess , Because I don't think it's good for me to constantly reassess anything ,” He said ,“ in my opinion , Every minute is no longer like a decision .”

On the afternoon of the speech at the Economic Club 5 P.m. ,SBF I can't hold on to it , First he fainted in his game chair , Then curled up on the blue bean bag next to the table , With his curly hair on his elbow . The office is quiet , Except that employees are Slack Click to chat on . stay SBF Behind , A programmer checks some code , His feet are on the table , The shorts are covered with soy sauce . About an hour later ,SBF Move, move , Ate a bag Nutter Butters, And then I closed my eyes . During his nap , The trader will trade on his exchange for about 5 Billion dollars of bitcoin 、 Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies , and FTX There will be an extra charge 10 About $10000 .

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