FTX planned to buy island of Nauru and build bunker in case of mass human extinction
Current management called FTX members' past activities "misguided" and "dystopian."
FTX members allegedly planned to purchase a small island nation in case of disaster, according to a July 20 filing in the company’s bankruptcy case.
Case text shows that an unidentified FTX officer communicated with Gabriel Bankman-Fried — the brother of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried — the possibility of buying an 8.1 square mile microstate called Nauru and constructing a bunker there.
Specifically, a memo between the two individuals described building a “bunker / shelter” in case of an event that kills 50% to 99.99% of the human population. The bunker was intended to ensure the survival of the majority of effective altruists — a social movement that Sam and Gabriel Bankman-Fried and others were involved with.
According to the quoted memo, Nauru would also be used to build a laboratory and create “sensible regulation” for human genetic enhancement. The memo stated that there are “other things it’s useful to do with a sovereign country, too.”
FTX wants former members to return funds
The above plans are mentioned within a broader action through which FTX, now under new leadership, aims to recover funds from former company members.
FTX’s charity arm, the FTX Foundation, would have been responsible for the Nauru plan, and as such, leaders raised it as evidence of the Foundation’s lack of legitimacy.
Current leadership otherwise described the FTX Foundation’s plans as “frequently misguided and sometimes dystopian” and drew attention to its other spending.
The FTX Foundation notably paid $300,000 for a book on human utility function, a term used to describe how AI systems can be aligned with human values. It paid a $400,000 grant to a YouTube channel that posted videos on topics including “grabby” aliens — that is, alien civilizations theoretically active enough to be discovered.
The filing otherwise details other questionable spending previously reported, including luxury condo payments and political and charitable donations. It also mentions self-awarded bonuses by Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, who is currently set to be a star witness in Sam Bankman-Fried’s pending criminal trial.
FTX’s new leadership alleges that past members had “virtually limitless power” to transfer fiat and crypto and said members put their own interests above company interests. Leaders now seek the return of funds, either directly or as damages.