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FTX to sell shares in AI startup Anthropic

written by Bella Palmer

The crypto exchange invested $500 million in Anthropic in 2021, and presently holds a 7.84% stake in the firm, according to court documents

Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX may sell its shares in AI startup Anthropic, a U.S. judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey in Wilmington, Delaware approved FTX's proposal to sell the shares after FTX reached a compromise in court with a group of FTX customers that had opposed the sale.

The crypto exchange invested $500 million in Anthropic in 2021, and presently holds a 7.84% stake in the firm, per court documents. The firm had sought permission to sell the shares as part of its court-supervised attempt to liquidate its assets and repay customers who lost access to their accounts when the firm failed in 2022.

We are selling the Anthropic shares, as we are selling everything, and putting the money in the bank, FTX attorney Andy Dietderich said at a Thursday court hearing.

FTX expects to sell the shares at a profit, and it will retain flexibility to sell its shares at the "most optimal and appropriate time," per court documents.

Given the increased interest in artificial intelligence and large language models, there has been significant rise in the value of the Anthropic Shares since the Debtors' acquisition and investment in Anthropic in 2021, FTX wrote in a February 3 court filing.

The crypto exchange's 2021 investment initially gave it a 13.56% equity stake in Anthropic. The FTX stake has been diluted by the firm's subsequent fundraising, which includes a $4 billion investment from

The customers that opposed the sale had contended that FTX did not actually own the Anthropic shares, as they were bought with funds embezzled from FTX customers' deposits. But they agreed Thursday to let the sale go forward, as long as they are permitted to argue later that FTX customers own any money generated from the future sale.

Dietderich said that FTX already intends to repay customers using the sale proceeds, and it has enough cash to repay any specific group of customers that can convince a court that they owned the Anthropic shares. FTX presently has $6.4 billion in cash, Dietderich said.

FTX expects to pay all customers in full, although it will calculate their repayment based on crypto currency prices from November 2022, when FTX filed for bankruptcy amid a prolonged slump in the crypto market, rather than at the present, higher value of crypto assets.


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