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Caroline Ellison Net Worth, Crypto and NFT Investments

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The net worth of Caroline Ellison is estimated to be around $7 million in 2023. Her financial standing suffered a huge dip following the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire. Prior to the meltdown, the net worth of Caroline Ellison was $15 million. The Stanford graduate was said to have been involved in “on-and-off” romantic affairs with the disgraced FTX founder.

Caroline Ellison

According to reports, the duo, alongside other members of the team, lived together in a mansion in the Bahamas. There, they ran their business empire. Ellison’s engagements as the co-CEO of Alameda earned her fortunes. She was offered a percentage from the users’ deposits allegedly siphoned by Sam. According to credible sources, Caroline Ellison invested the money in stocks to boost her net worth

After numerous manipulations, FTX lost its place as the darling of the industry. The meltdown affected Alameda Research and birthed several lawsuits against Ellison, Sam Bankman-Fried, Gary Wang, and other members of their crypto syndicate.

Amid the legal clampdown on the team, SBF released the diary of his ex-lover, Ellison without her consent. This development has been met with widespread condemnation from the crypto community. Around July 2023, prosecutors instigated efforts to terminate the $250 million bail bond granted to SBF for releasing the confidential document to the public. 

On October 10, 2023, Caroline Ellison testified that SBF directed her and others to defraud customers of FTX. In a testimony that lasted almost three (3) hours, Ellison said SBF built systems that allowed the hedge fund to move FTX’s customer’s fund to repay Alameda Research loans. She went on to disclose that SBF insisted that Alameda Research should borrow $2 billion from FTX to buy back an equity stake in the exchange held by Binance.

Caroline Ellison’s Net Worth

YearNet Worth
2022$15 million
2023$7 million

Early Life

Caroline Ellison was born around 1995 in Boston. She’s the eldest of Glenn and Sara Fisher’s three daughters. Glenn and Sara are economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They exposed all three daughters to the basics of economics. Meanwhile, Ellison, alongside her siblings, also cut their first teeth in Bayesian statistics while in primary school. This foundation made Ellison exceptionally brilliant in mathematics. 

https://youtu.be/RNdbcFq55bw

Before becoming a professor at MIT, her father taught mathematics at Bigelow Middle School. Ellison and her sisters had their primary school education in this same institution. On numerous occasions, Ellison competed against the math team tutored by her father. More so, she represented her school in various mathematics and economics competitions. 

In 2008, Ellison won top honors in the American Mathematics Competitions. Later, she proceeded to Newton North High School. There, she still sustained her mastery of mathematics. In 2011, Ellison represented the United States at the International Linguistics Olympiad. 

She also captained the Newton North High School team in the Greater Boston Math League. Also, on various occasions, she represented the school at the Math Prize for Girls. She won various awards and accolades including the “best solution” prize at the 2011 International Linguistics Olympiad. Therefore, her brilliance caught the attention of various institutions. She gained entry into the MIT Primes after-school program and graduated in 2012, with a National Merit Scholarship. 

Ellison proceeded to Stanford University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. While at the institution, she made the list of the top 500 students between 2013 to 2015 in the Putnam competitions. Likewise, Ellison joined a data-based philanthropic movement and served as the Vice President of Stanford’s effective altruism club. 

Despite being a student, Ellison cut her first teeth in quantitative trading with Jane Street, a proprietary trading company in New York. Later in 2016, she graduated from Stanford University and decided to focus on her trading career. Driven by this aspiration, Ellison joined Jane Street on a full-term stint. There, she met her future business partner and alleged boyfriend, Sam Bankman-Fried. She worked in the organization as an equities trader under the guidance of Sam Bankman-Fried. A year later, SBF left Jane Street to work as a director of development at the Centre for Effective Altruism in Berkeley, California.

Alameda Research

Despite leaving Jane Street, Sam was in frequent communication with Ellison because they shared “effective altruism.” Effective altruism is a philosophy of life that requires an individual to acquire wealth with the sole aim of donating it to charity. After leaving the trading firm, Bankman-Fried with the support of Tara Mac Aulay established Alameda Research in Berkeley, California in November 2017.

The company focused on quantitative trading. During an interview, SBF said “research” was included in the name of the firm to attract customers. In his submission, he illustrated how investors are attracted to committing their bank accounts to a research-oriented trading firm. In January 2018, Bankman-Fried through Alameda Research carried out an arbitrage trade. Then, the value of Bitcoin in Japan was high compared to its price in the United States. Therefore, he leveraged the gap to earn $40 million. 

However, in February 2018, during a visit to the San Francisco Bay Area, Ellison and Sam discussed the possibility of joining Alameda Research. Then, the company was already focusing its attention on cryptocurrency hedge funds. Without hesitation, Ellison accepted the proposal to join Alameda, and resumed as its new team member in March 2018. 

She was tempted by the crypto arbitrage trading policy of the company and the opportunity to further her pursuit of earning to give. Driven by her relationship with Sam, she was able to emerge as the co-CEO of the firm alongside Sam Trabucco. Eventually, Trabucco stepped down, thereby making her the only CEO. 

Meanwhile, in early 2019, Alameda Research moved its headquarters from California to Hong Kong. During the year, the company contributed heavily to the establishment of the now-bankrupt FTX. The firm acted as the platform’s market maker. This role aided FTX to find its feet in the cryptocurrency space.

As the market maker, Alameda Research was always available to buy and sell cryptocurrency to users. At times, the crypto hedge fund would take the losing side of a trade to attract users to FTX. This strategy to an extent worked, skyrocketing the users’ of the exchange. As of the time of its meltdown, FTX was the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange. 

Following the establishment of FTX, SBF tweaked the trading focus of Alameda Research, a decision that doesn’t seem to sit well with Ellison. The exchange moved from arbitrage trading to making risky trading decisions. The change in focus affected the exchange from the beginning of 2020. Nevertheless, Ellison and SBF were the talk of the crypto industry owing to the various investment commitments Alameda Research undertook during the year. The company invested heavily in various startups, pushing it to the center stage of the crypto landscape. 

Likewise, Ellison and SBF through Alameda Research donated to various political causes. During the 2020 presidential election in the United States, SBF was one of the highest political donors. He donated about $5 million to Future Forward USA; a liberal political action committee in support of President Joe Biden. Later, SBF through Alameda Research donated another $5 million to Guarding Against Pandemics, a PAC managed by SBF’s brother, Gabe. 

Also, in 2020 when FTX launched its native token, FTT, Alameda Research acquired a significant portion of it. According to reports, the investment firm committed over $60 million to acquire the token. Furthermore, the company took loans to invest in more than 150 companies including Genesis and Voyager. Later, Alameda Research sponsored SBF’s $650 million acquisition of a 7.6% stake in Robinhood. As of August 2021, SBF owned about 91% of shares in Alameda Research. 

At the height of Alameda Research’s success, Caroline made it to the “Forbes 30 under 30 list.” Then, she was barely 27 years old. Forbes, in the article, disclosed that Alameda Research under Ellison was making around $4 million daily. 

Role in FTX-Alameda Collapse

Ellison contributed significantly to the collapse of FTX and Alameda Research. During her stint as the co-CEO of the company, she approved numerous loans to SBF to pursue his “crypto-savior” status between 2021 to 2022. After the collapse of FTX and Alameda Research, reports indicated that Ellison was aware of the huge hole in the exchange’s balance sheet. 

Various reports revealed how Gary Wang, the purported Chief Technology Officer of FTX created a code base to siphon users’ deposits from the crypto exchange to Alameda Research. As the CEO of the company, Ellison oversaw the inflow but mismanaged them in collaboration with other FTX executives including SBF. Alameda Research recorded a significant loss between May to June 2022. 

In a legal filing, the former CEO indicated that she was aware of the deficiencies eight months to the eventual collapse. However, despite being aware of the shortfalls, Ellison made little effort to rescue the situation. Rather, she illicitly rewarded herself with a multimillion-dollar incentive package. She accumulated these funds through various transactions.

First, Ellison siphoned $22.5 million from Alameda Research to her account on FTX through numerous transactions. She also transferred about $10 million to her account which she later invested in an unknown AI safety research company. Additionally, an FTX bankruptcy filing revealed that the crypto exchange paid $6 million in payments and loans to Ellison. 

The hefty misappropriation of users’ funds became known in early November 2022. Then, reports pointed to a hole in the balance sheet of Alameda Research, exposing how it held $3.66 million worth of FTT as collateral for its loan. Also, reports revealed that Alameda Research used users’ deposits to run some of its high-risk investments. This news resulted in a huge outflow from the crypto exchange as investors foresaw an imminent meltdown. Consequently, FTX filed for Chapter 11 protection on November 11, 2022.

Lawsuit and Controversy

Following the collapse of FTX and Alameda Research, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission simultaneously fired civil complaints against Ellison. The SEC alleged that the former Alameda CEO was involved in a multiyear scheme to swindle investors of FTX. In addition, the SEC accused Ellison of manipulating the price of FTT.

In the filing, the regulator said Ellison acted under the directive of SBF to manipulate the price of FTT between 2019 to 2022. The SEC explained how Ellison and Alameda Research designed automated bots to trade FTT at certain prices. 

Similarly, the regulator alleged that Alameda Research under Ellison adjusted the trading parameters of bots to support the price of FTT. The SEC added that Ellison and Alameda employed the tactics to conceal the company’s actual exposure in a bid to take more loans. On the other side, the CFTC charged Ellison with fraud and misrepresentation of material relating to the sale of virtual asset commodities.

In December 2022, Ellison accepted the indictment of the CFTC. According to the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, the former Alameda Research CEO pleaded guilty to federal charges. The attorney added that Ellison pleaded guilty to two accounts of wire fraud. Similarly, she also pleaded guilty to two accounts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud among other charges. 

Before she pleaded guilty to the charges, Ellison was supposed to face up to 110 years in prison. However, such a long-term sentence doesn’t look realistic as a result of her cooperation with investigators. Ellison signed a plea deal with prosecutors and agreed to pay restitution as determined by the court. Also, she is willing to testify before the court when needed. 

Is Caroline Ellison Pro Crypto?

Caroline Ellison found herself at the heart of FTX-Alameda’s success and eventual collapse. She was not really familiar with the rudiments of cryptocurrency when she joined Sam Bankman-Fried’s team. Sam’s decision to make her a prominent member of the team was not unconnected to the “on-and-off” romantic relationship between them.

Nevertheless, Ellison was able to at least learn on the job due to her passion for crypto. In an FTX podcast, she said; “I wanted to be an expert on everything, but there was still lots of stuff in the crypto world that I knew nothing about,” stressing that she “had to learn a whole new set of intuitions.”

As one of Sam’s key lieutenants, Ellison was instrumental in the early success of FTX and Alameda. But, the success didn’t earn her any substantial fame despite featuring in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2022. This was because she doesn’t like to be at the center of attention in the industry like Sam. According to her former team members, Ellison derives satisfaction in staying behind the scene. 

However, she couldn’t evade public attention and speculation after Sam’s crypto empire moved from becoming the darling of the industry to an outcast. People claimed her inexperience while managing the crypto trading firm contributed to the downfall. Ellison didn’t deny this either. According to court documents, the former Alameda Research co-CEO admitted that; “Running Alameda doesn’t feel like something. I’m that comparatively advantaged at or well suited to do.”

Ellison may be inexperienced but she never took any decisions as the co-CEO of Alameda without consulting his ex-lover, Sam. According to the SEC, the disgraced FTX co-founder “remained the ultimate decision-maker” and directed every key investment and operation decision at Alameda. Although Ellison also made several trading decisions, “she frequently consulted with Bankman-Fried, particularly about strategic issues and significant trades,” the U.S. regulator said. This was evidenced by how she was able to carry out a fraudulent scheme with Alameda under the directive of Sam Bankman-Fried. With this scheme, the team pumped the price of FTT to deceive unsuspecting investors.

It is grossly impossible to absolve Ellison from the crisis that ravaged FTX and Alameda. But, without any doubt, her insufficient knowledge about how things should run in the crypto world made her vulnerable. Sam took advantage of this weakness to get her engaged in some endeavors that eventually crumbled the empire. The extent of the fallout on the crypto industry forced her to save face. While her ex-lover has consistently granted several media appearances since his bail, Ellison has remained funereally silent. According to multiple sources, she has continued to decline requests for interviews. 

Meanwhile, Ellison is not the only lieutenant of Sam Bankman-Fried that has pledged cooperation with the SEC. Gary Wang who is acknowledged as the programmer of FTX’s software code is also cooperating. His attorney Ilan Graff, in one of his submissions, admitted that “Gary has accepted responsibility for his actions and takes seriously his obligations as a cooperating witness.” Sam sees the confessions by Ellison and Wang as an act of betrayal. Initially, he felt he, Ellison, Wang, and other members of the team were on the same page.

Crypto and NFT Holdings of Caroline Ellison

Prior to the FTX-Alameda implosion, Caroline Ellison held a crypto portfolio that was fully dominated by FTT, the native crypto of FTX. She did not have exposure to other crypto assets and NFTs unlike her ex-lover, Sam Bankman-Fried. Apart from being the founder of the embattled FTX, Sam was also very popular as a Bitcoin investor. You can as well see our list of other legendary Bitcoin investors across the globe.

As for Caroline Ellison, the massive fall in the value of FTT due to the Alameda-FTX meltdown crippled her net worth. However, Ellison’s successful endeavors in the stock market, prior to the crisis, has continued to retain her status as a millionaire. 

Crypto and NFT Projects Featuring Caroline Ellison

Unlike her ex-lover, Ellison is yet to be featured on Wall Street Memes. On numerous occasions, this project featured Sam, particularly after the FTX-Alameda crash took the crypto world by storm, leaving investors in agony. Sam was the face of the crumbled empire, with the likes of Ellison and Wang behind the scenes. Nonetheless, Ellison might still be featured amid her ongoing trial in the United States. 

Wall Street Memes has become an incredible sensation on social media, turning heads with its animated memes. Through these mind-blowing memes, it drives superb community engagements, particularly on Instagram and Twitter. The consistency of its team with these memes has positioned the brand in the heart of many social media users. Hence, it is not surprising that it has over one million supporters on all its social media handles. 

In recent months, the activities of these supporters on social media brought Wall Street Memes to the notice of Elon Musk. The reactions that came from the well-known Tesla boss have not only encouraged its community members to do more, but also ignited a sense of confidence in the future of the project. This is evidenced by the overwhelming wave of participation in its ongoing $WSM presale.

Since May 2023, the presale has continued to see investments from top guys in the crypto industry. Just recently, an anonymous whale invested $1 million worth of ETH in the presale. This commitment pushed the total amount raised to $20 million, positioning it as one of the greatest crypto presales in the crypto market. But, with the impressive hype around it, it will not be surprising to see the presale attain a $30,000 milestone. 

Check wallstmemes.com for more details.

Caroline Ellison’s Net Worth – Our Verdict

It is not certain that Caroline Ellison will return to the crypto space after the whole turbulence is over. In a 2020 podcast, she said her exposure to the crypto industry wasn’t her own decision. According to her, “I didn’t just randomly decide to do crypto on my own.” This simply means she found herself in the industry owing to the amorous relationship she shared with Sam. Nevertheless, it is expected that the final outcome of her trial in the United States will determine her future financial status. 

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FAQs

What was the role of Caroline Ellison in Alameda before the crisis?

Caroline Ellison served as the co-CEO of the firm prior to its collapse.

What's the 2023 net worth of Caroline Ellison?

According to our estimates, the net worth of Caroline Ellison has fallen from $15 million to $7 million amid the FTX-Alameda meltdown.

Has Caroline Ellison pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against her by the U.S. authorities?

Yes. Caroline Ellison has pleaded guilty to the charges. She is now cooperating with investigators to unravel the mystery behind the crisis.