Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX is seeking information on millions of dollars in payments it had previously given to the Center for AI Safety (CAIS), a nonprofit artificial intelligence (AI) safety organization. According to a bankruptcy court filing on October 25, FTX claims to have provided $6.5 million to CAIS between May and September 2022, prior to its collapse and declaration of bankruptcy. FTX is now requesting the Delaware Bankruptcy Court to approve subpoenas to CAIS, in order to determine if the organization received payments, funds, communications, or entered into agreements or contracts with FTX, its affiliates, and former executives.
The exchange alleges that CAIS has refused to provide an accounting related to the transfers, despite a phone call in August and emails exchanged in early October. CAIS has not yet responded to the request for comment. FTX’s investigation into CAIS is likely part of its efforts to recover funds and repay its creditors and customers affected by the collapse. In a previous report, FTX stated that it had recovered approximately $7 billion but needed an additional $1.7 billion to cover customer funds that were allegedly misappropriated.
CAIS gained recognition for its open statement on AI risk, which was published in May and emphasized the importance of mitigating extinction risks from AI alongside nuclear war. The statement was signed by prominent figures in the AI field, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Geoffrey Hinton, known as the “Godfather” of AI.
FTX’s proposed subpoenas request a range of transfers, documents, and communications from CAIS, FTX Philanthropy, the FTX Foundation, the FTX Future Fund, and individuals associated with FTX, such as co-founders Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang, Joseph Bankman, Gabriel Bankman-Fried, Caroline Ellison, Can Sun, and Daniel Friedberg.
This investigation is crucial for FTX’s efforts to recover funds and provide restitution to its stakeholders.
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