A 29-year old crypto billionaire has Goldman, CME Group in his crosshairs as his exchange aims to surpass Coinbase – MarketWatch

Should Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon be quaking in his boots?

That is the feeling that one might glean from Sam Bankman-Fried as he explains, in an interview with the Financial Times, that financial giants like Goldman Sachs GS, -0.83% and exchange platform CME Group CME, -0.15% may be future acquisition targets for his relatively upstart crypto exchange FTX.

Bankman-Fried told the FT, in a recent interview, that his exchange, considered by some to be one of the fastest-growing digital platforms, wants to overtake Binance and Coinbase Global COIN, -4.24%, the No. 1 and 2 largest cryto platforms in the world.

Then…watch out Goldman and CME.

“If we are the biggest exchange, [buying Goldman Sachs and CME] is not out of the question at all,” Bankman-Fried was quoted by the FT saying.

If Bankman-Fried comes off as superbly ambitious, it is, perhaps, for a good reason.

The 29-year old, who is a U.S. citizen but resides in Hong Kong, is reportedly a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who boasts a net worth of $8.7 billion, according to Forbes. Forbes says that majority of his wealth is derived from his stake in FTX, which he launched a few years ago, as well as crypto token ownership, like bitcoin BTCUSD, +0.87% and Ether ETHUSD, +2.59% on the Ethereum blockchain, for example. He also launched Alameda Research, the quantitative crypto trading firm he founded in 2017, which looks after $2.5 billion.

Bankman-Fried is aiming for a valuation of $20 billion for FTX, in his most recent funding round, according to the FT. FTX, a cryptocurrency unicorn that offers derivative trading services with offices in Hong Kong and the U.S., is the fourth-largest global crypto exchange, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

Even still, Goldman’s value is $127 billion, while CME Group’s is $75 billion, as of Wednesday midday trade.

Coinbase, meanwhile, has a market capitalization of about $50 billion, if Bankman-Fried would consider lowering his sights. Coinbase went public back in April but has seen a tough road as a publicly traded company thus far.

Coinbase shares are down 28% over the past three months, performing better than bitcoin, which is down 48% over the same period. However, traditional assets are faring far better than their turbulent crypto counterparts in recent months, by comparison.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.15% is looking at a gain of more than 3% in the three-month period, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.22% and Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.05% indexes are both up nearly 6% over the same period.