So i have to sam bankman freed is a man that you know well by the term. Sbf, the founder and ceo of ftx, just some interesting notes, im sure everybody here in person knows but at 29 years old sbf is the youngest billionaire in the us and the quickest to reach the fortune 400 list. But i like giving him a different moniker. Not only one of the nicest people in crypto, but one of the smartest as well uh spf, thanks for taking the time out of your day down in the bahamas, to join us how you doing over there. I im doing well thanks so much for having me want to get uh started here with just how much is going on at ftx, because theres a bit of a joke in the crypto space that if you were uh a crypto reporter a full time, job would Be covering all the things that are going on there youve raised more than a billion dollars on the year here at ftx us youre youre, building out the nft space, adding that uh capability there, as well as uh derivatives as well. The first, through your acquisition of ledger x, talk to me about, i guess, all the money that youve put behind raising the ftx profile, not only tom brady, steph curry at the miami heat arena also uc berkeley. There have been a lot of deals. So how do you measure, i guess, all the money that youve put into that effort? What are you seeing? Is it all just user growth that youre looking at or how are you measuring it now so theres some user growth, but that thats not the biggest immediate goal of it um.

You know we are really coming from behind on a name recognition. Uh perspective weve been around for about two and a half years, its a lot less long than the other major players in the you know. Crypto exchange business um and you know we dont have tens of millions of users. We certainly dont have 100 million users um and, and what this means is that you know when, when sort of someone is looking to get involved in the crypto ecosystem for the first time, you know especially six months theres, a good chance. They hadnt even heard of ftx, and what that means is that if we just buy a lot of google ads um, i dont know theres sort of, like you know: crypto company youve never heard of runs an ad on google or facebook, its not very compelling um. You probably assume its its basically just a scam and and sort of more generally, the sort of brand that you need to engage with with consumers. We we didnt have, and so rather than you know, just try to mass acquire a ton of retail users with advertisements that probably wouldnt have worked um. What weve really been focusing on is trying to communicate to the country in the world like who we are at the company, and you know. I think that that means something thats punchier, something thats more compelling and something that says more about us than you know. We can usually fit in an advertisement.

Thats really been the goal of a lot of the partnerships that weve been forming, and i think weve had really really striking success with that um and you know, witnessed the fact that you can felt compelled to ask about it here right, hes sort of like one Example of of of just the reach that i think that those have had yeah its, not just the ads, i mean its also the the capabilities youve been adding, as i said, uh kind of recently, adding on nft capabilities here as well. Whats been kind of the early takeaway in in what person that is drawing in in crypto versus maybe the people who came along first in the bitcoin and eath wave back in uh 2017.. There are similarities and, and in particular there are similarities to the people who have been here for a while um. You know nfts have had an absolute explosion in uh in usage over the last six months, but it is still predominantly driven in most places by the crypto industry rather than by newcomers. There is some excitement from newcomers and theres a huge amount of excitement from partners to build out new products involving nfcs, which i think could be really really exciting, um but uh, but i dont think that it has yet caused um. You know millions of people who had never touched crypto before to engage at least not with ftx. I think the biggest engagement that weve been getting at the beginning is from existing users of of crypto, whether or not theyre ftx users um.

I think thats going to change over time, but i think what thats going to take is nft starting to get integrated into other systems in peoples lives, whether theyre tickets in game items or other things. I guess the one similarity to between all this is is the ability to make a lot of money, uh and thats really what draws people into crypto? I think if you were, if youre not in it, there is one project that youve been a pretty early backer of salon. I know youve been talking to them and obviously theyve got a lot going on in lisbon uh this week. When you look at that, though, its up almost 12 000 percent over the last year, and when we talk about projects like that in terms of efficiencies of scale and speed uh, you know a lot of people point to whether or not that might take away from Potential upside in ethereum, i mean how do you look at maybe how that battle plays out over the long term, uh? Obviously, in the short term, when everything else is in a bull market, everything is going up, thats one thing, but does it maybe cap the long term upside from some of the other competitors to solana, then also to ethereum its a good question, and you know theres Always going to be both collaborative and competitive forces between different crypto projects, you know we see this with. You know us and a lot of other exchanges and – and you know we always try and play the uh collaborative card when we can um.

I think what i would say is that what i see as the biggest upside of solana um is, you know the potential ability to scale to a point where it can surface an absolutely enormous number of users and an amount of of information transactions. You know, if you think about like what does a mass scale: uh application, business, uh or or something like that. Look like you know, youre talking about hundreds of millions to billions of users, youre talking about millions of transactions per second um youre, talking about billions to trillions of dollars, um and uh. You know that millions of transactions per second – it really is a requirement of almost any mass scale system, um and – and so i i think that salon is one of the few currently existing public blockchains that has a uh really plausible roadmap to scale to millions of Transactions per second um at you know, fractions of a penny per transaction, which is a skill that you need for this um. I i think that that is not where a lot of other blockchains have been focusing, including ethereum um, and you know i i think what that means. Is that um, to the extent that that you know the goal of a blockchain is to service a billion users? Absolutely i think that there are competitive instincts there. I think you could imagine collaborative instincts to the extent that other blockchains are focusing on a more concentrated, smaller uh, uh, sort of uh type of of usage and the other interesting thing too.

I guess, in the run up as youve pointed out, theres been a lot of institutional interests in the project and i guess thats one thing that might change in terms of the speed at which institutional investors are going deeper and deeper into the crypto space. You know it took a long time for them to dip a tone of bitcoin, maybe a little bit shorter to dip into eath. But now, as you see, that interest from institutional investors shape up how big of a driver is that uh, not just for solana but for some of these other projects as well, in what we could see in how quickly these projects do pop so mark to today, Like if you look at sort of like all of history up to today, frankly actual institutional adoption influence themselves have not driven very much now the uh anticipation of them has, but the inflows themselves have not yet materialized. You talk to most major institutions. They will tell you theyre getting into crypto and theyll tell you that it is not happening tomorrow. Its gon na take you know a year for many of these places, sometimes multiple years, the amount of work that a compliance department has to do to get acquainted with the cryptocurrency ecosystem to become comfortable with it is fairly significant, a lot of these players, so it Has not been driven by the actual inflows themselves, although the anticipation of those has been a huge factor.

All that being said, the world is speeding up its speeding up in every way and its going to be speeding up in these ways as well, and so i think the sort of time frames that we imagine transformations happening on. You know both in terms of what technology can accomplish the adoption he can get and the institutional support it can get. I think, every year those time frames shorten a little bit and we see things turning over faster and faster and getting adopted faster and faster. Oh, its been a its been a good call so far uh i wan na i wan na. Ask you, though, about maybe the flip side of good calls lets talk. Some bad calls uh, obviously uh. It might be hard to think of an example here, but weve been chatting with a lot of experts uh today about their experiences in crypto. Im curious, if theres, one that maybe stands out to you as a big crypto mistake that you made in your career, and i guess if there isnt one that youd point to what you see from newbies in the crypto space, is one uh that maybe people getting In should avoid, i mean so. The biggest mistake i made, which is only sort of an answer to the question, is not getting involved sooner um, and i mean this is something that i that i think about now. In that news, you know, i had a friend who built a bitcoin arbitrage bought in 2012 2013, something like that um and uh yeah.

I kind of checked out its kind of cool. Nothing came with it, um five ways. You know five years later, we would get into crypto together and end up founding ftx together um. You know instead of imagining what would happen if we chase down that rabbit hole much earlier um, but i you know, i i think putting that aside. There are a lot of things that i think have taken me a while to really understand um and uh, and i i like certainly wish that i had earlier. I think that theres a lot of opportunities in the space that did not gel to me until the last year um. I think one of them is thinking about what the consumer financial experience could look like what a comprehensive one could look like. I think one of them frankly, is just understanding the uh some of the regulatory regimes that we see um and i think that theres a lot of opportunity to offer new innovative products um in a licensed manner. And i think ive been underestimating that earlier. Um – and i think that was certainly um, you know certainly a mistake and – and you know we could have begun on some projects earlier. I think then we did um and uh and then i guess theres one other thing. I i i wrote something about this uh. A few days ago, um is uh. There have been a lot of like annoying quirks of ftxs user registration process.

Every time that i try and walk myself through it im annoyed at something, and just things like you got ta answer your address two or three times and and that like takes a while and theres, like no good reason for that um and lots and lots of Variants of that of just like a process that was not nearly as sort of tightly uh constructed as it could have been and, and you know the uh um uh, the sort of like hits of that that that causes on user adoption are pretty significant right, like Every every extra 10 seconds that takes someone to go through a process theres a chance that they just drop off, especially if it seems so frustrating and silly um, and – and this is something we like we could have addressed this earlier. It is not that hard to at least do a decent job of this. I i think were starting now too um weve made a number of changes in the last couple weeks, but you know i sort of wish that we had taken that seriously earlier and a lot of people had brought this up to us. I feel like maybe some people listening to that as a big mistake, might give you a pass on that one uh and they also might point out. You know that its hard to think uh, you having crypto mistakes, just kind of given the upside and the wealth that youve built youve, been pretty outspoken about what you intend to do with that wealth, and you take a long term view about the charitable giving prospects That youre, looking forward to doing its been strange to watch people, maybe critique that aspect of it too saying look hes built all this wealth.

Where is he going to give it to and why hasnt he given more, comparing it to about a 15 donation to a salvation army bin? If you want to look at it that way, also millions of dollars is more than basically, i think anybody in this room has ever donated in their life too. So i mean when you look at the long term, take that youre giving for charitable giving. How are you developing that thesis and what you want to do to create lasting change, and when can we expect maybe some of those big announcements? I know youre going to be talking to give directly uh next month yeah, so you know i started giving something again, probably given 30 million or so this year, um, i some of some of that has been uh. I think talked about more than others, but um. You know i i think one thing to note is that i, you know im not super liquid. As far as these things go um you can sort of look at, you know mark to market um. You know evaluations and things like that, but uh. All of my uh, you know all of my work, so speaking is just wrapped up in like the equity valuations of like the you know, companies, um and – and so you know, particularly like ftxs valuation, which means that, like you know the actual money out of my Bank account is, i mean, uh, certainly under a million uh, certainly well under that um, so i uh, so that certainly is one limitation on on giving speed.

But i think frankly, another thing um is just i you know making sure that im really excited about where its going and i you know, i think that the difference between a good and a great place um to give is absolutely enormous. Its orders of magnitude um, and so what are some of the things ive been looking at and i think sort of investigating, more and and ive started, giving to um one of them. Uh is uh. You know around bio safety and pandemic preparedness um. You know if you look at things that could potentially have massive negative impacts on on the world and our future um. We are unfortunately getting to a place as uh. You know, as a society where um you know, uh bio risks are are amongst them. You know every year, biotech gets more powerful and this has a lot of really amazing benefits, and it also has some side effects, and you know one of those is the amount of damage that we can do accidentally to the world um. You know, i think that we one thing weve seen over the last few years, pretty conclusively is that we absolutely are not ready for a pandemic um. We are not ready, for you know, basically any any fire risks, and i you know i i think basically, no countries have managed to like handle covet well and the next one could be worse like this. You know its not the most lethal disease effort um, despite its sort of uh massive spreading.

You know what, if it were worse, would we have been able to handle it as a world? Like i i im, i wish that i were more confident in that answer than i am so i ive been, i mean doing some. I know a lot of outlaw of research on this, a lot of talking to people um and some work on uh. You know arguing for i, you know more preparedness for for the next pandemics and youve done a lot of work in dc on that and have given a bunch to that um, because i think thats thats, one of the most important things that we can be working On now, as a society, in terms of you know, things which are potentially world changing and also potentially actionable where we can actually do things today, you know to help prepare for that yeah and at scale. As we talked about in terms of uh. You know the wealth thats been built there uh so so well be watching for when those developments happen. To close here, though, uh sam, in terms of i guess some of the bold calls that weve seen uh out of you clearly, some of them have been right. Most of them been right here in 2021, when you look ahead to 2022, though what would be, if you can leave us with a bold call for crypto one thing specifically that youd come out and say im feeling pretty confident about this happening next year.

I think that were going to see, i dont know exactly what time frame and then i want to be cautious about saying that it will necessarily happen in a year um, but i think that were going to see um some real changes in the u.s crypto landscape And i think this is going to be interfacing heavily with regulators. I think that part of this is going to be um. You know licensed activity um, which will hopefully be coming online, were optimistic that that fbx us derivatives will be a part of that. I think part of this is going to be work with the sec on. You know tokens that maybe securities and you know, registrations and regimes related to that um, and i you know, if you look at i, i think, sort of one stark thing here. If you look today at the global volume distribution in crypto, its its you know, 90 plus percent offshore um, you know a fairly small fraction is in the united states um. If you instead look at something vaguely like ip production right. The majority of token projects, um are founded, have been founded of top broken projects at least have been founded by u.s citizens, um uh. A lot of the other projects have as well theres a pretty big discrepancy right now between the actual adoption of crypto and a lot of the development of it um and im optimistic that were going to see a uh, healthy, strong and innovative uh us crypto scene.

Developing in concert with regulators um over the next few years. Well, i know youve been uh having a front row seat chatting with all those regulators. Yourself has been busy times here this year, sam bankman, free, the ceo and founder of ftx joining us from the bahamas. Appreciate you taking the time here to chat thanks again.

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