October 2, 2023 at 09:47 GMTModified date: October 2, 2023 at 09:47 GMT
October 2, 2023 at 09:47 GMT

FTX attacker moves about $32m worth $ETH ahead of SBF trial

A wallet associated with the 2022 hack of the bankrupt FTX exchange has moved a lump sum in $ETH last weekend.

FTX attacker moves about $32m worth $ETH ahead of SBF trial

The weekend just gone by saw activity in a wallet that is known for being associated with last year’s $600million attack on FTX’s wallets.

Recently, it has been observed moving about $32m in Ethereum ($ETH) in multiple transactions that marked the first fund movement from this address since 2022’s infamous hack.

According to on-chain data, the hacker’s first move was seen on 30 September when it transferred 6,250 $ETH, worth about $10.46m. This was done in three transactions through privacy tools including RailGun and THORChain.

It was then followed by another move of about 12,250 $ETH in two transactions via THORChain, as per the Arkham Intelligence dashboard. The remaining funds have also been shifted, ultimately ending up at the THORChain bridge, the Railgun privacy wallet, or intermediary addresses.

A cumulative of 19,944 $ETH, worth about $32m, has been transferred by the FTX accounts drainer, as per estimates.

THORChain is a cross-chain, decentralised liquidity protocol that enables direct swaps between different layer-1 tokens. Users can swap tokens between different blockchains without the fear of getting their transfers blocked.

Railgun, on the other hand, is a smart contract system known for allowing users to make invisible, trustless transfers. Users can interact with any DeFi apps without revealing their Ethereum address, strategies, or balances. Here, the transactions are shielded which means that the exact use of such funds is not known.

The last movements of this wallet was seen in November 2022 when an unknown party managed to drain various wallets of as much as $600m just hours after FTX and its related companies filed for bankruptcy. A chunk of this sat in a single wallet before it was moved during this weekend through privacy tools and bridges.

Interestingly, the recent hack comes ahead of FTX founder and former chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) upcoming trial in the US. He has been charged with two counts of wire fraud and five counts of conspiracy to commit various forms of fraud by federal prosecutors.

SBF has pleaded not guilty to all charges even though other former FTX and Alameda Research executives have pleaded guilty. Last month, the founder had submitted a renewed request to the Court for a temporary release ahead of his trial. His lawyers argued that granting the request was “necessary for preparation of his defence”. The letter quotes the Court’s previous comment that it “understands the difficulties of preparing a complex case for trial”.

Adding on, the lawyers said: “We submit that we are finding it exceedingly difficult as a practical matter to adequately prepare for trial with the restrictions on access currently in place. This is not a point we make lightly but it is the reality of the nature of this case. This case is highly technical and complex, and we need our client to help us understand the facts and explain many of the issues.”

However, on 29 September, a federal judge denied the FTX founder’s third attempt at being released from prison to prepare for his defence. He ruled that Bankman-Fried will have to remain in jail for the duration of his trial which is scheduled to start on 3 October 2023.

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