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FTX receives approval to sell stake in AI startup Anthropic



Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX has secured approval from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey to sell its 7.84% stake in the artificial intelligence startup Anthropic.

This approved sale is part of FTX’s court-supervised initiative to liquidate assets, intending to reimburse customers who suffered losses during the company’s collapse in 2022.

Founded in 2019 by Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX was a prominent cryptocurrency exchange that rapidly grew to a $32 billion valuation by January 2022 through acquisitions and aggressive marketing. 

However, in November 2022, FTX collapsed due to major fraud, resulting in substantial losses for customers and investors. 

The collapse was attributed to mismanagement, financial control deficiencies, misuse of customer funds, and questionable financial practices.

Bankman-Fried faced criminal charges related to wire fraud, money laundering, commodities fraud, securities fraud, and campaign finance violations. 

The aftermath included frozen assets, bankruptcy filings, regulatory investigations, and a significant impact on the cryptocurrency industry. Efforts are ongoing to address creditor claims and potentially revive FTX under new ownership.

Before its collapse, FTX initially invested $500 million in Anthropic in 2021. Anthropic, founded in 2021 by former OpenAI members Daniela and Dario Amodei, focuses on developing safe, reliable, and interpretable AI systems. 

Their flagship product, Claude, is a versatile and highly conversational AI assistant.

By July 2023, Anthropic had garnered substantial funding, reaching $1.5 billion, with notable investments from Alameda Research, Google Cloud, Spark Capital, and Amazon contributing up to $4 billion.

FTX plans to sell the Anthropic shares for profit, strategically choosing the optimal time for the sale. Despite initial opposition from some FTX customers, a court compromise permits the sale to proceed. 

These customers argued that Anthropic shares were purchased with embezzled funds but agreed to the sale with the provision to potentially claim ownership of generated funds later.

FTX intends to utilize the sale proceeds, combined with $6.4 billion in cash reserves, to repay customers. Repayment calculations will be based on cryptocurrency prices from November 2022, rather than the current higher values.

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