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FTX's $500 Million Stake in AI Startup Anthropic on the Market Amid Bankruptcy

Source: AdobeStock / Rafael Henrique

Bankers of now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX are looking to offload their stake in AI startup Anthropic. 

Perella Weinberg, the boutique bank overseeing FTX's bankruptcy proceedings, is reportedly discussing the potential sale of Anthropic's stake with interested parties, Semafor reported on Tuesday.

The report noted that the cryptocurrency exchange ostensibly owned as much as $500 million worth of shares in Anthropic when it filed for bankruptcy last year, pointing to a November 2022 report by the Financial Times.

However, courtesy of the recent AI boom and rising demand for AI technologies, Anthropic has experienced significant growth as of late.  

The company has become one of the most valuable in the AI industry, with a valuation of $4.6 billion following a $750 million funding round. 

Therefore, the sale of the stake is expected to fetch a nine-figure sum, which would be distributed to former FTX customers.

Bankers are debating whether to sell the entire stake or retain some shares in anticipation of further growth in AI valuations. 

Launched in 2021 by former OpenAI employees, Anthropic is developing Claude, a general-purpose artificial intelligence chatbot. 

Claude is a potential rival to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which has made waves across the online world over the past couple of months. Claude has not yet been released publicly.

Earlier this year, Google also invested approximately $300 million in Anthropic in exchange for a 10 percent stake in the company.

FTX and its group of crypto companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early November. 

Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of FTX, was later arrested in The Bahamas after US prosecutors formally filed criminal charges against him. 

He was eventually extradited to the US, where he was released from jail after posting a $250m bond in a New York court.

Judge Denies FTX's Request to Join in Mediation Between Genesis and DCG

In the latest development in FTX sage, a judge has denied the exchange's request to join in the mediation between now-bankrupt crypto lender Genesis Global and its parent company, Barry Silbert’s crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG)

In the ruling, US Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane decided against FTX's inclusion in the settlement talks, where Genesis and its major creditors, along with DCG, aim to develop a revised payout proposal.

Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried is preparing to argue that he relied on the advice of Silicon Valley law firm Fenwick & West in his defense against fraud charges. 

Last month, his lawyers requested that prosecutors turn over documents that were provided to the government by the California-based firm between 2017 and 2022. 

They claimed the legal advice by Fenwick & West is “material to preparing a defense" as they allegedly plan to leverage a so-called advice-of-counsel defense, which could be used to rebut suggestions that Bankman-Fried intended to break the law. 

Prior to this, the disgraced crypto boss asked a New York federal judge to dismiss most of the criminal charges brought against him by federal prosecutors, claiming that they were “dramatic” and turned “civil and regulatory issues into federal crimes.”