Hedge fund manager Travis Kling sees a silver lining for cryptocurrency exchange FTX as Google commits a significant $2 billion investment in the artificial intelligence (AI) firm Anthropic. This monumental investment comprises an initial infusion of $500 million, with plans to inject an additional $1.5 billion over time.
Kling took to social media, specifically X (formerly Twitter), to express his optimism regarding FTX’s bankruptcy situation, asserting that it’s edging closer to full recovery. He explained, “FTX bankruptcy getting pretty close to a full recovery at this point. It’ll take years to pay out, but estate assets vs customer deposits prob about 1:1 now.”
However, Ari Paul, the founder of BlockTower Capital, offered a contrasting perspective. Paul cautioned that Google’s investment in Anthropic doesn’t guarantee a swift return of cash. He drew parallels with misconceptions surrounding FTX’s solvency due to holdings in SRM and FTT, emphasizing that much of Anthropic’s valuation remains speculative and based on paper valuations.
Notably, last year, FTX and its affiliate, Alameda Research, initiated a substantial $500 million investment in Anthropic. Since then, Anthropic has made significant strides in the AI industry. It introduced Claude2, a competitive chatbot to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and secured nearly $7 billion in funding over the past year. Consequently, Anthropic’s valuation has skyrocketed, potentially surpassing the $4.1 billion reported earlier this year to reach over $20 billion. This substantial increase in valuation could significantly benefit FTX, potentially increasing its stake in the company to more than $4 billion.
In the midst of these developments, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is currently facing a criminal trial in New York. During his trial, SBF acknowledged mistakes made during his tenure at the exchange, particularly related to FTX’s declaration of bankruptcy last year. He expressed regret, noting that “a lot of people got hurt.” One of his admitted mistakes was the failure to appoint a risk manager, a critical oversight given the complexities of the cryptocurrency market.
Furthermore, SBF attributed some of the exchange’s troubles to his former associates, Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh. He argued that Ellison did not follow his guidance regarding risk hedging at Alameda, and Wang and Singh had the authority to make independent decisions despite being under his supervision.
In conclusion, Google’s substantial investment in Anthropic has ignited hope for FTX’s recovery from its bankruptcy, as the AI firm’s valuation soars. However, the uncertainties surrounding the true value of Anthropic’s assets and the ongoing legal challenges faced by FTX’s former leadership cast a shadow of doubt on the path to full recovery for the cryptocurrency exchange.