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Castles Made of Sand Dollars: SBF, FTX, and other Three Letter Agents


The story of Bitcoin has certainly had its fair share of nefarious characters, criminal activity, bad haircuts and worse wardrobes, and yet our anti-hero du jour has seemed to outdo them all. Sam Bankman-Fried, better known by the three letter acronym SBF, burst onto the scene at the peak of the 2017 bubble, founding Alameda Research that September, just four years after graduating from an internship into a full-time position at one of the world’s largest market makers, Jane Street Capital.

SBF is the son of Stanford Law professor and founder of left-wing super PAC Mind The Gap, Barbara Fried, and Stanford professor Joseph Bankman, an expert on tax shelter laws and government regulation. At the start of 2018, SBF had struck digital gold while taking advantage of the arbitrage opportunity presenting itself between a higher demand for bitcoin in the Asian market, colloquially known as the “kimchi premium”. By the end of the year, and after amassing a considerable fortune from this high-volume bitcoin/dollar spread, he officially moved to Hong Kong, formally founding the derivatives exchange FTX in the following spring.



Read More: Castles Made of Sand Dollars: SBF, FTX, and other Three Letter Agents

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