29-year old crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried says FTX US is set to expand after fresh funding round

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Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of crypto exchange FTX. FTX Official/YouTube
  • Sam Bankman-Fried said FTX is targeting the US as its next growth area in an interview on Thursday.
  • His comment comes after FTX announced that it raised $US900 ($AU1,219) million in series B financing.
  • The CEO also said FTX is looking to deploy its newly-raised funds mainly through acquiring firms.
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Sam Bankman-Fried, the 29-year-old billionaire CEO of FTX, on Thursday said his cryptocurrency derivatives exchange is targeting the US as its next growth area.

The Hong Kong-based firm currently does not allow US residents to trade on its platform. FTX US is a separate service and offers limited trading for US customers.

“When you look at FTX US, there’s an enormous amount of potential growth,” Bankman-Fried told CoinDesk TV Thursday. “A lot of that has to do with the fact that there just isn’t near that much business going on there right now as you would expect, given the size of the economy … But I do think that there’s huge expansion potential in the States for FTX US.”

The comments from Bankman-Fried come after his company on July 20 announced that it had raised $US900 ($AU1,219) million in series B financing, implying a valuation of $US18 ($AU24) billion.

The fundraising round drew in high-profile participants, including Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank, Paul Tudor Jones, and Sequoia Capital.

Bankman-Fried, a California-born entrepreneur, said many of the investors were concerned about regulatory issues.

“We talked a lot with prospective investors about regulation,” he told CoinDesk TV. But “we’ve had a pretty good track record. We’ve done what we can to work well with regulators. And I think it comes down much more to an overall approach and a very, very large number of small decisions than to one high-level decision.”

FTX has been slowly making its presence known in the US. On June 29, the company tapped Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen as long-term strategic partners. On June 23, the firm partnered with Major League Baseball to become the first cryptocurrency exchange sponsor in professional sports.

Prior to that, Bankman-Fried, through newly acquired Blockfolio, won the naming rights to the arena where the Miami Heat play.

Bitcoin has been stuck in a narrow trading range since crashing in May from its April peak of nearly $US65,000 ($AU88,065). A recent clampdown by China on bitcoin mining has also contributed to the downturn.

But the FTX CEO said he wasn’t too concerned.

“No jurisdiction is more than 10% of our revenue,” he CoinDesk TV. “While it is a relevant jurisdiction, it’s not an overwhelming one.”

Beyond expansion plans, the CEO also said FTX is looking to deploy its fresh funds mainly through acquiring firms that would expand its set of licenses and userbase.