Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange BitMex Chief Strategy Officer and Co-founder Ben Delo, 34, has become the UK’s youngest self-made billionaire.
The University of Oxford graduate and his associates at Bitmex, Arthur Hayes, CEO, and Samuel Reed, CTO, have made a fortune from the venture, which today is valued at $3.6 billion (£2.7 billion).
Delo, born into a family of scientists, studied, graduated from Oxford University with a Masters and First Class Honours in Mathematics and Computer Science and then went on to work for IBM as a software engineer and then for JP Morgan in Hong Kong.
“I did a joint study of Maths and Computer Science. Those degrees are very specialised. You can’t take a Geography or English course. I took more theoretical computer science, studying programming languages, compilers, computation complexity and pure mathematics,” he said in an interview in March 2017.
Delo says that over the past few years he has put in 18-hour work days in order to make Bitmex a success. At first, his firm was struggling so badly for money that he had to rent out spare bedrooms on Airbnb. But in March of 2017, BitMex was reportedly trading volumes exceeding $1 billion (£759 million). However, he and his wife Pan Pan Wong still use vouchers to purchase discounted meals at McDonald’s. He apparently only has three pairs of shoes and has said he intends to donate most of his fortune to philanthropic causes.