Sam Bankman-Fried cofounded FTX in 2019 and is its CEO. FTX

© FTX Sam Bankman-Fried cofounded FTX in 2019 and is its CEO. FTX

  • An explosion in crypto and meme stock trading propelled several fresh faces to the top of this year’s Forbes Youngest Billionaires list.
  • The richest newcomer is FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who at just 29 years old is worth $22.5 billion.
  • The richest American on Forbes’ 2021 list was Jeff Bezos, worth $201 billion.
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An explosion in crypto and meme stock trading has propelled several fresh faces to the top of this year’s Forbes Youngest Billionaires list.

The richest newcomer is FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who at just 29 years old is worth a staggering $22.5 billion, according to Forbes. FTX’s massive growth this year alone has seen the crypto exchange sign major sponsorship deals with NBA teams, expand its US arm, and pivot to embracing regulation.

Trailing a bit behind Bankman-Fried are Coinbase co-founders Fred Ehrsam and Brian Armstrong, aged 33 and 38, respectively.

After helping start Coinbase in 2012, Ehrsam, worth $3.5 billion, left the crypto exchange in 2017 but held on to a hefty stake in the company, the value of which has ballooned in the wake of its $100 billion direct listing. Armstrong, who is the CEO, holds a much larger stake than his co-founder, boosting his net worth to $11.5 billion.

Then there’s Robinhood co-founder Baiju Bhatt, aged 36 and worth $2.9 billion. He stepped down as co-CEO of the retail broker in 2020, leaving Vlad Tenev the sole CEO. For his part, Tenev “just missed the cut” to be included in the top 400 richest people in America, according to Forbes.

For the broader Forbes 400, six of the seven listed crypto entrepreneurs are new this year, including Gemini co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The only crypto mogul to make a repeat appearance is Jed McCaleb, who founded several notable crypto companies including Mt. Gox, Ripple, and Stellar.

The richest American on Forbes’ 2021 list was Jeff Bezos, worth $201 billion. That is in contrast with the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which puts Elon Musk above him, at $211 billion to Bezos’s $186 billion.

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