Hong-Kong-based billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried has stated that FTX may consider buying U.S. financial giant Goldman Sachs and exchanges such as Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) in the future.
Speaking with the Financial Times on July 14, Bankman-Fried stated that if FTX can become the top crypto exchange and supplant rivals such as Coinbase and Binance, the idea of purchasing giants such as Goldman Sachs and CME group is not off the table:
“If we are the biggest exchange, [buying Goldman Sachs and CME] is not out of the question at all.”
The 29-year-old has an estimated net worth of $8.7 billion and is the founder and CEO of quantitative trading firm Alameda Research and CEO of the FTX crypto exchange.
According to data from Macrotrends, Goldman Sachs has an estimated market cap of $129 billion and the CME group has an estimated market cap of $75.5 billion.
While FTX has been growing rapidly, it’s not yet in the league of those giants. In an interview with Nikkei Asia on June 24, Bankman-Fried told the publication that FTX is seeking a valuation around $20 billion in its latest funding round, meaning it may be some time until FTX has the buying power to acquire such big firms.
But he does plan to buy smaller and medium sized ones. The entrepreneur said the upcoming funding round will raise “mid-hundreds of millions” primarily from institutions, and noted that “M&A is going to be the most likely use of the funds,” he said.
He also confirmed that the funds would be used to further target the retail investor share of the market.
Bankman-Fried also said FTX was in two minds about going public, saying that “we are not actively looking to list but we want to be in a position to go ahead if we want to,” and added that the firm is weighing up the benefits:
“We are in a fortunate position of not having to do it because we don’t need capital . . . on the other hand there are potentially big advantages to listing such as brand recognition.”
It is unsurprising that Bankman-Fried speaks in such an ambitious manner, as the entrepreneur has amassed a multi-billion fortune within just three years of entering crypto.
FTX has also taken an ambitious approach since entering the market in 2019, and over the past year the firm has been on an investment and purchasing spree.
FTX acquired Blockfolio for $150 million back in August 2020, and in March 2021 the exchange secured 19-year naming rights to Miami Heat’s home stadium worth $135 million.
Cointelegraph also reported last month that the exchange sealed naming rights worth $210 million for the global esports brand “Team SoloMid,” with the team changing their name to “TSM FTX.” On June 24 the platform also announced that it has partnered with the MLB to be the pro-baseball league’s official crypto sponsor.
According to data from Messari, FTX ranks 11th in 24 hour spot volume, and processed $206 million in spot volume over the past 24 hours. In comparison Coinbase’s 24 hour reported volume accounted for $1.6 billion.
Despite the regulatory scrutiny aimed at Binance, the exchange still towers over its competitors, with 24-hour spot volume totaling $10.6 billion.