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The Big Take

Sam Bankman-Fried Turns $2 Trillion Crypto Rout Into Buying Opportunity

Putting up $1 billion for rescues and acquisitions, the FTX co-founder demonstrates his dominance of digital currency.



Photographer: Lam Yik/Bloomberg

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Over the span of 14 days in June, Sam Bankman-Fried, wunderkind quant-turned-cryptocurrency billionaire, carried out a dealmaking spree unlike any other in the brief history of the industry. Transactions came in dizzying, rapid-fire succession: The co-founder and chief executive officer of digital-asset exchange FTX bought two companies, propped up the crypto platform BlockFi, and tried to save another, Voyager Digital, with a large loan.

In all, Bankman-Fried committed about $1 billion, a staggering sum to be risking—even for someone worth $10 billion—in the midst of a crypto rout that’s wiped out $2 trillion in market value in only eight months. To his legions of hardcore fans, this is further proof that SBF, as they all call him, is the patron of crypto, a benevolent, deep-pocketed investor and philanthropist who’s defending the industry in its time of greatest need.