Bushy-haired vegan gamer turned cryptocurrency maestro Sam Bankman-Fried, a.k.a. SBF, co-founded the FTX exchange in May 2019. The Bahamas-based company quickly skyrocketed to more than a billion dollars in revenue and a net income of $388 million in 2021. As the money began to roll in to FTX like a tidal wave, Bankman-Fried and his FTX cohorts — some ten or twelve people — took up residence in a mansion-sized penthouse atop one of the architecturally adventurous mid-rise boutique condo buildings that make up part the five-star Albany resort complex in Nassau.
While flying high, Bankman-Fried made it known to anyone who would listen that his aim was to make as much money as he can so that he can give it all away. And indeed, his giving made him the second-largest donor to Democratic causes in the 2021-2022 election cycle, with donations that totaled almost $40 million. Alas, just as Icarus flew too close to the sun, crypto’s notorious volatility monster swung its razored tail at FTX and the whole thing came crashing down last week in a complicated avalanche of events that forced FTX into a hasty filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week. Bankman-Fried has resigned as CEO.
Once sitting high atop a personal fortune estimated at about $26 billion, the 30-year-old crypto savant’s net worth had already dropped to $16 billion before FTX imploded in early November. Up to two billion dollars in customer funds went missing — divorcing A-listers Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen are reported to be among those affected — and even before the digital dust had settled, Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index re-set Bankman-Fried’s net worth at just under a billion dollars. If Bloomberg’s figures are accurate — and let’s just assume for argument, they are — SBF is still immensely rich. Nonetheless, it’s rumored he’s looking to liquidate some of his holdings, which includes an only recently acquired half-billion-dollar stake in the digital currency broker Robinhood.
Also on the block is — or was, at least — the Nassau penthouse, which briefly popped up for sale last week with a princely price tag of $39.5 million. Though the penthouse no longer appears to be on the open market, and DIRT cannot independently confirm Bankman-Fried owns the condo (it very well may have been leased), there’s plenty of video footage of him inside the penthouse and on the resort’s manicured grounds. The now defunct listing seems to have first been turned up by the crytpo-focussed Twitter account Autism Capital.
Marketing material from when the 12,000-square-foot penthouse was ever so briefly on the open market tout the five-bedroom and six-plus-bathroom aerie’s unobstructed views overlooking the Albany complex’s private marina and the Atlantic Ocean. One of just nine ultra-luxury residences in the Morris Adjmi Architects-designed Orchid building, the penthouse’s most defining feature is the arched filigree screen that lines the entirety of the penthouse’s wrap-around terrace, an homage to the balconies in the French Quarter of Adjmi’s hometown of New Orleans. Other notable design details called out in marketing material are Venetian plaster walls, Italian marble accents, and German engineered windows and doors, while high-tech creature comforts include a comprehensive home automation system and a security-coded private elevator.
With a curved wall of glass and a marble bar, the vast combination living/dining room is complemented by a huge and sleek eat-in kitchen as well as a family room and a library/office. Four spacious en-suite guest bedrooms are in addition to the sprawling primary suite, which boasts dual bathrooms, dual walk-in closets, and a private balcony with a private spa. Outside the living/dining room, on a vast terrace that curves out toward the ocean, a mosaic-tiled spa that spills over into an oval-shaped zero-edge swimming pool.
Where one goes after losing billion or two in other peoples’ money, and even more of their own, is a mystery. But for now, at least as of this weekend, Bankman-Fried is riding out the storm in the Bahamas, a storm that now includes a criminal investigation into FTX by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.