Sam Bankman-Fried relocated his crypto company FTX from Hong Kong to the Bahamas in September, and this week he flexed his influence by bringing 2,000 people to the island nation for a four-day business conference. The event was hosted in partnership with Anthony Scaramucci‘s SALT, and attracted oodles of Wall Street tradfi types who have decided it’s time to look at crypto. It also attracted Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Andrew Yang, Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Apolo Ohno, Rick Fox, Udonis Haslem, and Liam Payne from One Direction.

But the most compelling figure in all of it was Sam himself, in unstylish cargo shorts, an FTX t-shirt, and unruly nest of curly hair.

SBF, as he is known in crypto, founded FTX just three years ago as a derivates exchange aimed at serious traders. It is now the hottest company in crypto—and it isn’t close. The company boasts a $32 billion valuation. Its name is on the Miami Heat arena and on every single MLB umpire’s uniform. Tom Brady, Steph Curry, Naomi Osaka, Shohei Ohtani, and Lewis Hamilton are among its stable of athlete ambassadors.

And they all rave about Sam—executives, celebrities, athletes, and politicians alike.

Udonis Haslem, the three-time NBA champion, partnered with FTX on a grant program for minority-owned businesses in Miami. I asked him how the FTX partnership came about. He said, “Do you know how much fucking money FTX gives to charity?” He added, “Sam’s track record is fucking amazing.” A few minutes later on stage, Sam and Gisele announced a new $1 billion charitable giving fund. Tom Brady…


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