The now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX is delving into its financial transactions, particularly the $6.5 million it had contributed to the Center for AI Safety (CAIS), a nonprofit organization focused on addressing safety concerns related to artificial intelligence. This inquiry comes on the heels of FTX’s declaration of bankruptcy and its subsequent efforts to recover funds for the repayment of creditors and customers affected by its collapse.
According to legal filings submitted on October 25, FTX’s legal team disclosed that the exchange had disbursed $6.5 million to CAIS between the months of May and September 2022, preceding the cryptocurrency exchange’s insolvency. FTX is now seeking approval from a Delaware Bankruptcy Court judge to issue subpoenas to CAIS in order to obtain detailed information regarding the nature of these payments and any associated communications, agreements, or contracts between FTX, its affiliates, and former executives.
FTX contends that CAIS has rebuffed its requests for voluntary accounting related to the aforementioned fund transfers. The exchange is seeking court-sanctioned subpoenas to compel CAIS to disclose whether it received payments, funds, or engaged in any form of communication, agreements, or contracts with FTX and its relevant entities. The legal move is indicative of FTX’s proactive stance in investigating financial transactions and relationships in the wake of its financial troubles.
As part of its broader strategy to recover funds and settle outstanding obligations, FTX aims to scrutinize its financial dealings with CAIS, and the outcome of this investigation could play a pivotal role in determining how the remaining assets are allocated to creditors and customers.
CAIS, known for its advocacy in the realm of AI safety, particularly garnered attention in May for a statement emphasizing the need to prioritize mitigating extinction risks associated with AI, placing it on par with addressing nuclear war. The statement was endorsed by influential figures in the AI community, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Geoffrey Hinton, often referred to as the “Godfather” of AI.
FTX’s proposed subpoenas extend beyond financial transactions, seeking a comprehensive array of information. This includes documents and communications involving FTX, FTX Philanthropy, the FTX Foundation, the FTX Future Fund, and any officer, director, contractor, or employee of FTX. Notable figures mentioned in the subpoena request include co-founders Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang, as well as Joseph Bankman, Gabriel Bankman-Fried, Caroline Ellison, former Alameda Research CEO, and former FTX lawyers Can Sun and Daniel Friedberg, among others.