Bankman-Fried planned to buy island state of Nauru and build apocalypse bunker

By | July 21, 2023

The Guardian reports:

The disgraced cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried, who founded the FTX exchange, had planned to purchase the small Pacific island nation of Nauru in case the world came to an end, according to a new lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday by FTX against its 31-year-old founder and three other former executives, and seeking $1bn, included a memo created by Bankman-Fried’s younger brother Gabriel and an FTX Foundation executive. The memo detailed plans to buy Nauru.

The plan was to “purchase the sovereign nation of Nauru in order to construct a ‘bunker/shelter’ that would be used for ‘some event where 50-99.99% of people die [to] ensure that most EAs survive’” the memo said, referring to “effective altruism”, a philosophical and social movement championed by Bankman-Fried that tries to maximize the impact of charitable giving.

The memo also noted plans to develop “sensible regulation around human genetic enhancement, and build a lab there”. It also said “probably there are other things it’s useful to do with a sovereign country, too”.

Nauru is a sovereign state in Micronesia, and has an area of 21 sq km and a population of approximately 12,500 people, making it the third-smallest country in the world. In the 1990s, Nauru became a money-laundering haven to the likes of the Russian mafia and al-Qaida by selling various banking licenses and diplomatic passports.

In 1998, an estimated $70bn in Russian mafia money was wired through Nauru’s banks. Four years later, the US treasury designated the country as a money-laundering state. [Continue reading…]

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