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FTX Halts Sale Of AI Startup Anthropic Despite Whopping 9-Figure Price Tag: Report

FTX (CRYPTO: FTT) has suddenly put a stop to the sale of a coveted asset, which was previously believed to be on the auction block after the crypto exchange declared bankruptcy in November

FTX (CRYPTO: FTT) has suddenly put a stop to the sale of a coveted asset, which was previously believed to be on the auction block after the crypto exchange declared bankruptcy in November.

In this photo illustration a FTX logo seen displayed on a smartphone screen and an Exchange graph on a MacBook screen in Athens, Greece on June 2, 2023. FTX stopped the sale of the company as it is exploring options. (Photo by Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images) 

Perella Weinberg Partners, the investment bank advising the FTX sale process, informed bidders that FTX’s stake in artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Anthropic is not up for grabs.

Several prospective buyers had spent months evaluating confidential data concerning FTX’s stake in Anthropic, Bloomberg reported.

FTX was expected to fetch a nine-figure sum for the stake in Anthropic, which was established in 2021 by ex-employees of OpenAI, the firm behind ChatGPT.

In May, Anthropic announced that it had amassed $450 million to bolster the development of its AI bot named Claude.

FTX, co-founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, invested $500 million in Anthropic, the report stated, quoting an internal document that was circulated before the bankruptcy filing in November.

FTX’s stake in Anthropic is considered one of the largest investments by the crypto exchange, surpassed only by its $1.5 billion investment in the cryptocurrency mining entity Genesis Digital.

Meanwhile, the new management at FTX released a report this week that sheds light on the alleged misappropriation of customer assets by the exchange. Certain transactions, including political contributions and venture capital investments, were partially funded through mingled customer deposits.

“I find the restart of FTX a pretty tall order given the recent enforcement actions against U.S. crypto companies and the major reputational damage FTX has suffered,” said Thomas Braziel, partner at 507 Capital, a firm that has become a creditor to bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange companies.

The company had previously been in talks in relaunching the crypto exchange as it had covered $7 billion in assets aimed at giving optimism to its customers. It would only open under the conditions of new management.

“FTX has begun the process of soliciting interested parties to reboot the FTX.com exchange,” said FTX CEO John J. Ray III.

The management had released a second report on the misue of customer funds and deposits.

“The release of this report furthers our stated objective of transparency, both about the facts uncovered about the operation of FTX.com and the important issues being navigated as we seek to maximize recoveries.  The image that the FTX Group sought to portray as the customer-focused leader of the digital age was a mirage. From the inception of the FTX.com exchange, the FTX Group commingled customer deposits and corporate funds, and misused them with abandon at the direction and by the design of previous senior executives. We will continue to report our analysis and findings as our work progresses, and remain committed to recovering as much value as possible for creditors,” said Ray about the report.

The FTX debtors review is currently ongoing during the proceedings of the Chapter 11 case.

Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Alberto Arellano and Joseph Hammond

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