November 13, 2019

Britain's Youngest Billionaire Is Sending His Money to the Future

“Ben Delo founded a cryptocurrency startup five years ago — and now he’s the UK’s youngest billionaire.

The 35-year-old Brit founded BitMEX, a cryptocurrency trading company that hosted more than $600 billion in cryptocurrency trades in the past year. In 2018, BitMEX’s value was estimated at $3.6 billion; Delo owns 30 percent of the firm, which makes his net worth more than $1 billion.

This past month, he did something noteworthy: He promised to give much of his fortune away. Delo signed what’s known as the Giving Pledge, a commitment started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage fellow ultra-wealthy people to “dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back.” The most recent signatories to the pledge were announced this week.

While news that the UK’s youngest billionaire is committing to giving away at least half of his fortune is notable in itself, what’s really fascinating is where Delo is donating his money. Signatories to the pledge don’t have to announce where they’ll direct their donations, but Delo did. He wants to give to organizations that improve life on Earth for future generations — that is, the billions of people who don’t exist yet but who will (if we don’t screw up too badly). So far, he has funded research into preventing nuclear wars and into pandemic prevention and mitigation, as well as academic research into shaping the very long-term future.”

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