FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has signed the Giving Pledge, a public commitment taken by the world’s richest people and families to give away the majority of their wealth to philanthropy either in their lifetimes or in their wills.
Bankman-Fried’s fortune is valued at $21 billion by Forbes, making him among the wealthiest individuals minted by the crypto market boom.
The bulk of Bankman-Fried’s wealth comes from his equity stake in crypto exchange FTX. FTX last closed a $400 million fundraising round in January, which valued the company at $32 billion.
“A while ago I became convinced that our duty was to do the most we could for the long run aggregate utility of the world,” wrote Bankman-Fried in his pledge letter. “In the end, it’s the work my friends and colleagues at foundations do that matters the most.”
The billionaire crypto founder is a longtime effective altruist, a philosophy that advocates for maximizing the amount of good generated when considering donations to charity.
In recent years, Bankman-Fried has built up a reputation for writing big checks, most notably donating to political campaigns. This includes a record-setting $12 million to fund effective altruism-aligned candidate Carrick Flynn. Last month, Flynn lost in the Oregon Democratic congressional primaries.
To date, the FTX Foundation, FTX’s philanthropic arm, has earmarked $21.8 million to charity.
Coinbase founder Brian Armstrong, worth an estimated $2.8 billion, also signed the pledge in 2018.
Founded in 2010, the Giving Pledge was created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and ex-wife Melinda Gates together with investor Warren Buffet to encourage greater giving from the ultra-wealthy.
To date, the pledge counts 230 signatories from 28 different countries. Other prominent pledgers include Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg, BitMEX co-founder Ben Delo and Tesla’s Elon Musk.