Data from the blockchain has revealed the movement of approximately 22,500 ETH, currently valued at just over $38 million, which is linked to last year’s FTX exchange hack. After nearly a year of inactivity, the ETH held in a wallet associated with the FTX hack has started to circulate. Several transactions have taken place with Ethers that have been routed through the Thorchain router or transferred using the Railgun privacy tool, while 163,235 ETH (almost $275 million) is still held in known addresses.
The Hacker’s Concealment Tools
Railgun presents itself as a privacy-focused wallet that allows users to store tokens and access decentralized finance projects, including lending and borrowing. The transactions executed here are protected, obscuring the explicit intention behind the use of such assets. On the other hand, Thorchain functions as a bridge, offering users the ability to exchange tokens between different blockchains.
FTX’s Darkest Hour
On November 11, 2022, FTX and its American counterpart saw their accounts massively drained, surprisingly just hours after the crypto giant’s bankruptcy filing and the subsequent resignation of its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. The hacker managed to siphon off assets totaling over $600 million. In a swift response, Ryne Miller, then general counsel of FTX, via a now-deleted tweet, informed of ‘preventive measures’ employed to protect assets from other FTX wallets.
Further revelations from John J. Ray III, the CEO overseeing FTX’s debtors and responsible for FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings, revealed that $323 million (at the time) worth of various tokens had been siphoned from its international exchange and an additional $90 million from its US branch.
Despite the massive scale of the breach, the perpetrators remain unidentified. A few days after the hack, 21,500 ETH, valued at $27 million, were converted into the stablecoin DAI. Meanwhile, another colossal sum of 288,000 ETH is still linked to addresses associated with the hacker.
The timing of these Ethereum transactions is impeccably timed, occurring just days before Sam Bankman-Fried is set to stand trial in the United States on allegations of fraud and conspiracy. While SBF maintains his innocence, some former executives of FTX and Alameda Research have pleaded guilty and are willing to testify against their former director.