Home » MIT Media Lab cancels fellowship program tied to crypto firm FTX

MIT Media Lab cancels fellowship program tied to crypto firm FTX

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FTX Future Fund is FTX Foundationis a charity founded by FTX executives.

It was not immediately clear how many fellows would be funded and how much money was expected.

FTX has personal ties to MIT. co-founder of Bahamas-based firm, both Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang Graduated from MIT. Also, Caroline Ellison, who ran Alameda Research (the troubled trading company founded by Bankman-Fried), met with Glenn Ellison, dean of the economics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied economics. She is the daughter of senior lecturer Sarah Fisher Ellison.

Bankman-Fried, who majored in physics and minored in mathematics, graduated in 2014, while Wang, who majored in mathematics and computer science, graduated in 2015, an MIT spokesperson confirmed.

The news came a month after the school announced Future Fellowships backed by the FTX Future Fund in an article dated October 12. Kevin EsveltAssociate professor at the Media Lab, known for its ecological engineering research. Esvelt was not available for comment.

MIT’s FTX Support Program Was Aimed at Recruiting Students A Fellow who is “committed to ensuring a long and prosperous future.”

Fellows would have received full tuition, scholarships, and $25,000 per year in research funding for “ambitious charitable projects.” According to the Media Lab website, examples of projects include “creating works that expand our moral circles, designing to cultivate wisdom, developing new technologies to promote or protect well-being, or the future.” directly improving the lives of current living beings in ways that are expected to benefit future generations.

Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives are known to support the “Effective Altruism” movement, an ideology that encourages individuals to donate their wealth.

of friends too You would have had the opportunity to receive “speech training” from a professional coach and “practice writing clear and persuasive writing” with staff writer Michael Spector. New Yorker. They would also have met “regularly over tea” and enrolled in a class called “Protecting the Future” taught by Spector and Esbert.

Fellowship candidates had to be nominated by the Media Lab faculty and evaluated by a selection committee that included the “FTX Future Fund Advisors” and MIT Media Arts and Sciences faculty.

According to FTX List of Future Fund grants, it recommended a $1.2 million grant earlier this year to support Esvelt’s pandemic prevention efforts at a company called SecureBio. It also recommended a $2 million grant to Watertown-based Sherlock Biosciences and also recommends a $1.5 million grant to Boston University’s Khalil Lab. (A BU spokeswoman declined to comment.)

It is unclear if these organizations received FTX funding. SecureBio co-founder Esvelt said, said in an interview with chemistry This week, he said he has “avoided using Future Fund grants for the time being, except to pay the salaries of three new hires.”

According to its website, the FTX Future Fund was primarily backed by By Bankman-Fried with “major contributions” from Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh. It was established to provide grants to non-profit organizations and individuals to invest in social impact companies.


To contact Anissa Gardizy: anissa.gardizy@globe.comFollow her on Twitter @anissagardizy8 and on instagram @anissagardizyjournalism.

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