Hundreds of millions vanish from collapsed cryptocurrency giant
Failing cryptocurrency exchange FTX has begun moving assets offline, after more than $600 million in tokens was allegedly pilfered from the digital wallets on its platform.
After filing for bankruptcy protection from creditors on Friday, FTX “initiated precautionary steps to move all digital assets to cold storage,” said Ryne Miller, general counsel for the firm’s US arm. “Process was expedited this evening to mitigate damage upon observing unauthorized transactions.”
However, considerable damage had already been done. According to an estimate by blockchain research firm Nansen, $662 million flowed out of FTX’s US and international exchanges. The firm’s main wallet, which was used to process withdrawals, was drained of its entire balance of 45.8 million FTT tokens, worth an estimated $97.2 million, Nansen said.
FTX's main wallet used to process withdrawals drained of it's entire FTT balance 1 hour ago45.8M FTT tokens withdrawn, ~$97.2M in value pic.twitter.com/rVNc8ayLxw— Martin Lee | Nansen 🧭 (@themlpx) November 12, 2022
A separate review by another analytics firm, Elliptic Connect, pegged the thefts at $473 million. The FTX community administrator on Telegram said the exchange had been hacked. FTX applications are infected with malware, according to the administrator, which also warned followers against loading the exchange’s website.
The Bahamas-based FTX and about 130 affiliated companies commenced Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings on Friday in Delaware. The firm also announced that Democratic Party donor Sam Bankman-Fried had resigned as CEO.
Bankman-Fried, who reportedly ranked behind only billionaire political activist George Soros in 2022 pledges to Democratic Party candidates, saw his entire $16 billion fortune wiped out this week, according to Bloomberg, which called the collapse “one of history’s greatest-ever destructions of wealth.”
Miller, the general counsel, said the exchange was “investigating abnormalities with wallet movements related to consolidation of FTX balances across exchanges.”