The saga of the collapsed FTX crypto exchange had already been quite dramatic and it continues to get wilder by the minute.
A lawsuit was recently filed that alleged that the nonprofit arm of the crypto exchange, called the FTX Foundation, had been planning on purchasing Nauru.
The goal was to buy the sovereign nation for the construction of a ‘shelter or bunker’, which would be used in an event that would result in the death of 50% to 99.9% of the Earth’s population.
The details of the plan had been mentioned in a memo that had been exchanged between Sam Bankman-Fried’s brother, Gabriel Bankman-Fried, and an officer of the FTX Foundation.
Sam Bankman-Fried, who founded the now-bankrupt crypto exchange, is being sued by the current FTX leadership team, along with three former executives of the company.
Their goal is to reclaim funds worth $1 billion, which had been allegedly misappropriated in the few months before the collapse of the crypto exchange in November of the previous year.
The memo said that buying the island would help in the survival of most effective altruists (EAs) and the development of appropriate regulation related to human genetic enhancement.
There were also plans of building a lab on the said island.
It was also noted in the memo that there were other useful things that could also be done in a sovereign nation.
Effective Altruism principles shaped the direction of the FTX Foundation to a large extent.
This is a philosophical and social movement, which is aimed at using empirical evidence for ensuring that charitable resources are allocated in an efficient manner.
Factors like cost-effectiveness and cause prioritization are taken into consideration by this concept for achieving the maximum impact.
SBF, who was the founder as well as the ex-CEO of FTX, and the former CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison, who was also a board member of the FTX Foundation, said that they were introduced to effective altruism in their early 20s.
According to the lawsuit, the FTX Foundation usually worked on projects that were often dystopian and mostly misguided.
These projects included a grant worth $300,000 that had been used by an individual for writing a book on the utility function of human beings.
There was another grant worth $400,000 that was given to an entity for posting videos on YouTube related to EA and rationalist material.
The smallest island in the world, Nauru has a population of just 12,000 people. It is located northeast of Australia at a distance of 3,000 kilometers in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
It gained notoriety in recent years for being used as an ‘offshore processing’ center by Australia for people who are interested in protection and asylum.
In the late 1990s, it had become a hotbed for money laundering activities, as Russian criminals had used it for this purpose.
But, Nauru has worked on improving its reputation and implemented stricter regulations for combating the issue of money laundering.