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Crypto Craze Hits Cannes as FTX Strikes Deal to Take Over Lead Sponsorship of amfAR Gala


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Amid a massive crash resulting in a reported trillion dollar loss, cryptocurrency has come under fire as of late, but that isn’t stopping one firm from planting a flag on the French Riviera.

FTX — the cryptocurrency exchange platform that has widened its reach in recent months with celebrity partnerships and by activating at cultural events like this year’s Super Bowl with an ad featuring Larry David — has struck a deal to become the lead sponsor and official cryptocurrency partner of the amfAR Gala Cannes. It marks the first time in its more than 30 years that a crypto company has been the main partner for the event that, for years, has been supported by spirit brands, fashion and beauty partners or film organizations.

Also, this year, amfAR is accepting cryptocurrency payments for tickets and tables for the black-tie event held at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France. It will feature a fashion show curated by Carine Rotfeld, a live auction handled by Simon de Pury and performances by Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin and Charli XCX.

Under the partnership, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and head of global fashion and luxury partnerships Lauren Remington Platt join the program as event chairs alongside such names as Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Baz Luhrmann, Michelle Williams, Kate Hudson, Cynthia Erivo, Eva Longoria, LaKeith Stanfield, Michelle Yeoh and Vanessa Hudgens, among others.

The Red Sea Film Festival is a fellow presenting sponsor, with support also provided by signature sponsors Chopard and Jelenew, beauty partner Charlotte Tilbury, after-party sponsor RVLV and additional support from Clase Azul, Hadid Caviar, Hatt et Söner Champagne, the h.wood Group and Miraval.

“AmfAR is a global leader in dedicating resources and research to effectively identify a cure for AIDS, and FTX is grateful to be able to support the life-saving work that they are doing to help end the AIDS epidemic,” said Bankman-Fried in regards to the event that has raised more than $245 million in the fight against the disease.

Said Remington Platt: “As we continue growing at FTX, we are always looking for partners who are aligned with Sam’s mission of giving back to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.”

Kevin Robert Frost, amfAR’s chief executive officer, said his organization is “deeply grateful” to FTX, Bankman-Fried and Remington Platt. “Their partnership brings an exciting new dimension to our gala and will help us maximize the potential of cryptocurrency to boost our fundraising efforts and get us closer to our goal of a cure for HIV.”

Remington Platt made the first appearance on behalf of FTX at the Met Gala, wearing a custom FTX necklace that represents the platform’s work to give back, efforts that include committing to donate up to a $1 billion to high-impact charities and projects. The custom necklace (that has an accompanying NFT available on FTX’s NFT Marketplace) will be sold during amfAR’s live auction with proceeds donated to help amfAR’s work in ending the AIDS epidemic.

The news comes as FTX continues to bolster its celebrity ranks. Tennis champ Naomi Osaka struck a deal with the platform earlier this spring, joining ambassadors like Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, the latter of whom serves as head of environmental and social initiatives and fronts its first luxury print campaign.

Not all bold-faced names have been as supportive. Actor Ben McKenzie, who is writing a book about crypto and speaks out regularly against its popularity, wrote last year that “celebrity crypto shilling is a moral disaster.”

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Lauren Remington Platt is seen at the Met Gala wearing a custom FTX necklace that will be auctioned off at the 2022 amfAR Gala Cannes with proceeds donated to fight the AIDS epidemic.

Courtesy of Carl Timpone/; Courtesy of MATTE Productions

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