FTX’s Anthropic Stake Sale Halted Amid Bankruptcy Woes

FTX, a bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, is facing obstacles in addressing its $2 billion deficit as the sale of its $500 million stake in AI startup Anthropic has been halted. Insiders familiar with the matter revealed that Parella Weinberg Partners, FTX’s advisory investment bank, decided to pause the sale earlier this month, despite multiple interested parties willing to acquire FTX’s position.

Anthropic Sale Hopes Dashed

FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November, and in December, co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried faced federal charges including money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire crimes. New court documents filed on June 27 in the United States Bankruptcy Court of Delaware leveled accusations against FTX’s former leadership, including Bankman-Fried, alleging that over $402 million in customer funds were commingled under their direction.

The defunct exchange reportedly owes its customers approximately $8.7 billion, with $6.4 billion in fiat currency and stablecoins. In an attempt to recover funds and satisfy creditors, FTX had already sold its derivatives trading platform LedgerX for $50 million, resulting in a significant loss compared to the acquisition cost of $300 million in 2021. The potential sale of FTX’s Anthropic shares was seen as another avenue for recovery.

$2B Asset Recovery Challenge

However, the delay in the sale of the Anthropic shares comes after recent revelations by research firm Ray, which claimed that FTX still needs to recover approximately $2 billion to fully restore its assets. Anthropic, founded in 2021 by former OpenAI employees, gained attention for its AI chatbot called “Claude.” The company launched its flagship product, Claude AI, in March after securing a $400 million investment from Google earlier this year. Anthropic further raised $450 million in Series C funding led by Spark Capital.

FTX’s stake in Anthropic was one of its largest holdings at the time of the bankruptcy filing, trailing only behind its reported $1.15 billion investment in cryptocurrency miner Genesis Digital Assets. As FTX continues to navigate the bankruptcy proceedings, the halted sale of its Anthropic stake poses a temporary setback. The exchange remains determined to address its substantial deficit, repay its creditors, and emerge stronger from the bankruptcy process.