Sam Bankman-Fried, Founder and CEO of FTX, Joins Me on Panic with Friends to Discuss Futures, the Global Scale of Crypto and More (EP.159)

I am really excited to share this ‘Panic’ podcast with Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of the crypto currency exchange FTX.

Listen right now here on Megaphone.

I recorded it last month, but it is an evergreen conversation about entrepreneurship, domain experience, product, crypto, trading and growth.

Sam and FTX are doing it all right now at warp speed.

FTX is only 120 employees at the moment and a fresh $900 million investment at an $18 billion valuation and a great origin story that he shares in the podcast.

He does laugh a lot which I proved in the podcast.

Sam is a young entrepreneur, but very bold and taking corporate development buying Blockfolio and buying the naming rights to the Miami Heat stadium.

He is an MIT graduate, a Vegan and has great hair.

I had so many questions so I just fired away from how he came up with the names of his companies, the first time he heard about Bitcoin (was donated to him at MIT in 2012 which he never claimed), what is a stablecoin, Defi (not ready for primetime), life in Hong Kong, sleep struggles and dating.

In late 2017, he got the strong instinct to take it seriously because of the volatility, international interest and large retail interest.

I first heard of FTX last year when Sina Nader reached out to me. Sina was previously leading crypto at Robinhood and before that he was at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley.

I hope you enjoy the podcast. You can listen to it here on Spotify or Apple or Google

Scroll down for more information on Sam and this episode.


Guest: Sam Bankman-Fried

Profile: Founder and CEO of FTX

Where to Find Him: LinkedIn, Twitter

What He’s Panicked About: “All the things I wish I were able to fit into my day and can’t.”

Episode Summary:

For this week’s episode, we’re chatting with Sam Bankman-Fried. He’s a 29-year-old vegan living in Hong Kong. Oh, and he’s also a crypto billionaire with a huge cult following of fans around the world. Sam is the founder of two impressive companies: Alameda and FTX. His claim to fame came after capitalizing on the South Korean crypto kimchi premium (not the fermented food) and building FTX. Founded just a few years ago in 2017, FTX is one of the fastest growing digital asset exchanges in the world. I’ve had my eye on FTX for a while now and was excited to sit down with Sam to get his thoughts on the state of crypto markets and where he sees it going. In this week’s episode, Sam and I talk about his background, how he gets it all done, his preferred way to relax, living in Hong Kong versus the United States, stablecoins (and why they matter), crypto, defi, blockchain, derivatives, regulations, who he looks up to in the crypto space, and more. Enjoy!

The Takeaway:

I sound like a broken record, but we need more liquidity. Liquidity will create stronger global economies.

Favorite Quote:

“It’s not just that we have an international business, the markets themselves are 24/7.”

“If you want to know what someone’s relationship is to crypto, ask them about Tether.”

“Anything that has huge upside is going to have the potential for huge volatility.”

PS – I am now doing one ‘Panic With Friends’ podcast per week. Thanks for listening and make sure you subscribe over on Spotify or Apple.