Crypto-Currency put simply is blockchain technology appended to tokenised digital currency that threatens to disrupt FIAT and traditional money markets. Don't get me wrong I adore this technology but after reading this book what becomes glaringly obvious is all this fast pasted tech is in the hands of 20 - 35 year olds with nothing to bring to the table in terms of life experience and naive idealist solutions about evolving its social fabric.
Sam Bankman-Fried's story is an interesting one - not because of the billions involved but more for its oddness together with a revelation about the unpreparedness of regulators to control this forest fire where so many got burned. It is alarming that all this life changing AI assisted tech is in the inexperienced hands of the very young. Hobble for the hills fellow codgers, the kids are rocking the playground equipment till it breaks.
Michael Lewis tackled the financial markets in his bestseller books The Big Short and Flash Boys. SBF is the most notorious crypto entrepreneur and billionaire under 30 whose trial for fraud commenced this month coinciding with the publication of Going Infinite.
SBF is known as a talented probability traditional stock trader who made a fortune on-selling Bitcoin to Asian markets for profit. He went on to inaugurate his own crypto exchange FTX and the rest is a "stranger than fiction" unravelling of innovations with speculative assets that tore through the unregulated financial world like a bushfire.
Everyone wanted a part of Sam's meteoric rise, and the book includes a hilarious interview with Anna Wintour courting his sponsorship of the Met's Gala. The ties to the Effective Altruism movement offer an insight into the odd conflicted mix of aspirations that drove this flawed young man who moved way too fast and broke a lot of things.
The subject and the author combination is potentially a fire meets gasoline reading experience and it does not disappoint. It is an exceptional, informative wild ride and a brilliant read for anyone wanting to skate where the puck is going, in terms of money markets. Lovers of the book Bad Blood will find the trajectory of SBF is even more astounding than that of Elizabeth Holmes. Give this to anyone interested in disruptive tech, trading and crypto's impact on the evolution of money markets.
I can’t recommend this entertaining read enough.
From the #1 bestselling author of The Big Short and Flash Boys, the high-octane story of the enigmatic figure at the heart of one of the 21st century's most spectacular financial collapses
'I asked him how much it would take for him to sell FTX and go do something other than make money. He thought the question over. "One hundred and fifty billion dollars," he finally said-though he added that he had use for "infinity dollars"...'
Sam Bankman-Fried wasn't just rich. Before he turned thirty he'd become the world's youngest billionaire, making a record fortune in the crypto frenzy. CEOs, celebrities and world leaders vied for his time. At one point he considered paying off the entire national debt of the Bahamas so he could take his business there.
Then it all fell apart.
Who was this Gatsby of the crypto world, a rumpled guy in cargo shorts, whose eyes twitched across TV interviews as he played video games on the side, who even his million-dollar investors still found a mystery? What gave him such an extraordinary ability to make money - and how did his empire collapse so spectacularly?
Michael Lewis was there when it happened, having got to know Bankman-Fried during his epic rise. In Going Infinite he tells us a story like no other, taking us through the mind-bending trajectory of a character who never liked the rules and was allowed to live by his own. Both psychological portrait of a preternaturally gifted 'thinking machine', and wild financial roller-coaster ride, this is a twenty-first-century epic of high-frequency trading and even higher stakes, of crypto mania and insane amounts of money, of hubris and downfall. No one could tell it better.