FTX's new management is seeking to recover millions of dollars in donations made by the crypto exchange and its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, The Wall Street Journal reported on Jan. 7.
FTX’s charity arm, Future Fund, by the end of September had committed more than $160 million to over 110 nonprofit organizations, including biotech startups and university researchers developing COVID-19 vaccines and working on pandemic studies, as well as nonprofit organizations in India, China and Brazil.
According to the report, Future Fund committed $3.6 million to AVECRIS, a company working on a genetic vaccine platform, and another $5 million to Atlas Fellowship for scholarships and high school summer programs in San Francisco.
A spokesperson for Bankman-Fried said that charitable donations were not made from customer deposits, but from trading profits.
The charity arm was announced in February, with plans to donate over $100 million in its first year and eventually up to $1 billion.
1/ We're thrilled to announce the FTX Foundation's Future Fund. We make grants and investments to ambitious projects to improve humanity's long-term prospects.— Future Fund (@ftxfuturefund) February 28, 2022
We plan to deploy >$100M this year, and potentially a lot more (in principle up to $1B).https://t.co/kIWdm48LZ4
Despite the decline in crypto prices, the donations were upheld. On Sept. 23, Future Fund's Twitter profile announced “a substantial fraction” of capital to be deployed on research and initiatives working on risk management for artificial general intelligence (AGI), with prizes up to $1.5 million, as well as thousands of dollars in rewards for those who “best critiques of our views” about the future of artificial intelligence.
We're making big bets—a substantial fraction of our capital—on AGI xrisk. But we think it's really possible that we're wrong!— Future Fund (@ftxfuturefund) September 23, 2022
Today we're announcing prizes from $15k-$1.5M to change our minds (or those of superforecasters) on AGI. Enter by Dec 23!https://t.co/ZBG0nFnW8E pic.twitter.com/Xd6M645h3s
FTX’s donations to political parties and candidates are also under investigation by United States prosecutors. Bankman-Fried was the second-largest “CEO contributor” to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, giving it$5.2 million.
Clawback provisions could force businesses and investors to return billions of dollars paid in the months prior to the crypto exchange's collapse, Cointelegraph has reported. FTX’s new management says that “a number of recipients of contributions or other payments” have approached the company to return the funds.
On Jan. 4, Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges he faces relating to the collapse of the crypto exchange, including wire fraud, securities fraud and campaign finance violations. Since Dec. 22, he has been under house arrest at his parents' home in California.