The founder of the BitMEX cryptocurrency trading platform—and the youngest billionaire in the U.K.—is giving away his money. Ben Delo is a 35-year-old entrepreneur who started BitMEX five years ago and now owns around 30% of the company for a net worth of more than $1 billionaire. However, he’s ready to move on and will be donating the bulk of his fortune to charity.
Delo signed onto a program started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett called The Giving Pledge. It allows other ultra-rich individuals, like the pledge’s founders, to “dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back” and Delo is prepared to do just that.
Giving Pledge doesn’t require those agreeing to donate to mention where the money will go. However, Delo has made it public and expects his money to be donated to organizations that will research how to prevent nuclear wars and climate change, projects that will work toward pandemic prevention and mitigation, academic research and others.
Delo was apparently influenced by one of the founders of the “effective altruism” movement, and fellow Oxford graduate, Will MacAskill. He explains, “To use Will’s framing of the idea, I take effective altruism to be the project of using evidence and reason to figure out how to benefit others as much as possible, and taking action on that basis.”
He further explains on The Giving Pledge website, “I’ve chosen this focus for several reasons. In short, I believe that all lives are valuable, including those of future generations. I expect that a vast and extraordinary future lies ahead if we can navigate the challenges and opportunities posed by new technologies in the upcoming century.”
The Giving Pledge, which is “an effort to help address society’s most pressing problems by inviting the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes either during their lifetime or in their will,” has already amassed quite a following. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong climbed aboard last December and the group now has 204 members from 23 countries. Alongside Armstrong and Delo are Sir Richard Branson, David Rockefeller, Michael Bloomberg, Elon Musk and numerous others, all of whom realized that they can’t take it with them.
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