(Bloomberg) — Cryptocurrency FOMO is playing out in real time for just about any token associated with Sam Bankman-Fried, head of the trading firm Alameda Research and the FTX derivatives exchange.
In the past week, Solana — or SOL — has jumped about 40%, making it the top performing large coin among those tracked by CoinMarketCap.com, and increasing its market value to about $11.6 billion. Serum, a token used on the new decentralized derivatives exchange supported by Alameda, has seen its market value jump to $494 million from $51 million this year. And the price chart for the FTT coin used on FTX looks like a hockey-stick as well, with its value jumping to $5 billion from $539 million since December.
The 29-year-old started to attract attention a few years ago when Alameda began regularly appearing at the top of a leader board of trading performance on the BitMex exchange. Alameda soon become one of the biggest crypto traders worldwide by focusing on arbitrage and other strategies that often profited from pricing discrepancies. After seeing his net worth soar, Bankman-Fried even became one of Joe Biden’s biggest donors during the presidential election.
“I’m always happy when people focus more on the products, but I’m also honored by a lot of the support that I and our team have been getting recently,” Bankman-Fried, who is based in Hong Kong, wrote in an email.
Bankman-Fried’s ability to stand out during a time when virtually all things crypto are having a moment is in itself