Crypto

SBF’s Alameda Moved $89 Million in Crypto to New Wallet CryptoGlobe

In the past 24 hours, Alameda Research moved $2.7 million worth of Serum, FTX and Uniswap tokens into a wallet where the now-bankrupt trading desk amassed $89 million in assets, according to on-chain data. .

As of this writing, none of the wallets – all labeled as belonging to Sam Bankman-Fried Alameda Research’s crypto trading firm by blockchain analytics firm Nansen – have attempted to move funds since yesterday.

The transactions are just the most recent unexplained transfers by wallets owned by Alameda Research following the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of the FTX Group, which includes FTX.com, West Realm Shires (the parent company of FTX US) and Alameda Research. .

On Saturday, Alameda Research transferred $36 million in funds, including $31 million in BitDAO (BIT) tokens, $5 million in SushiBar tokens, and $1 million in Render tokens.

Alameda purchased 100 million BIT tokens last year from BitDAO, the decentralized autonomous organization that was founded last year by the Singapore-based exchange Bybit and backed by Peter Thiel, the Founders Fund founded by Thiel, Pantera Capital and Dragonfly Capital.

Alameda used FTT to purchase the BIT tokens, and as part of their agreement, the organizations agreed that neither would sell the other’s tokens until November 2024. Earlier this month, BitDAO demanded that Alameda prove he had not liquidated the tokens after BIT suddenly fell 20%. Now, the 100 million BIT tokens appear to be in the wallet where Alameda has transferred funds from its other wallets.

Alameda, founded in 2017 by Bankman-Fried and Tara Mac Aulay, is a quantitative trading firm and the sister company of FTX. Bankman-Fried founded FTX in 2019 but didn’t step back from the day-to-day at Alameda Research until July 2021. When he did, Caroline Ellison and Sam Trabucco were named co-CEOs. Trabucco resigned in August, saying on Twitter that he could not “personally continue to justify the time investment of being a central part of Alameda”.

Although Bankman-Fried maintained that Alameda Research, the trading desk, and FTX, the exchange, were separate entities, a leaked balance sheet showed that Alameda relied heavily on its ability to borrow client assets from FTX.

The bulk of the assets in the wallet where Alameda sent funds consisted of $32 million from Tether and $31 million from BIT on Monday morning. Yesterday, the company also tried to move $1.7 million worth of Ethereum from four separate wallets, but Etherscan claims that the transfers failed because the wallets did not have enough funds to cover the gas.

Gas is the fee charged by the Ethereum network to process transactions. Since crypto transactions do not go through third parties, such as banks or credit card companies, people sending funds pay network validators directly to process their transactions. These gas charges vary depending on how busy the network is or how quickly the sender wants the funds to reach their destination.

For example, when one of the Alameda Research wallets tried to move 936 ETH, worth about $1 million at the time, Etherscan shows the gas fee on the failed transaction would have been 46 gwei. It’s fractions of a penny (one gwei equals one billionth of 1 ETH).

The wallet should have had enough ETH to cover it, but users can specify how much gas they are willing to pay for a transaction. So it could be that whoever controls this Alameda Research wallet does not want to pay 46 gwei to move the funds.

Adam Landis, the attorney representing FTX Group in its bankruptcy proceedings, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Decrypt.

FTX has come under scrutiny for its on-chain activity since Friday, when the exchange and 134 other entities filed for bankruptcy. But hours later $650 million in funds wallets left controlled by FTX in what it called “unauthorized” transactions.

“Among other things, we are in the process of removing trading and withdrawal functionality and moving as many digital assets as possible to a new cold wallet custodian,” wrote Ryne Miller, General Counsel of FTX. on Twitter in a statement from FTX CEO John Ray. “As widely reported, unauthorized access to certain assets has occurred.”

Since then, Bahamian authorities have said they have not ordered FTX to allow withdrawals from Bahamian users, like the exchange previously claimed on Twitter. On Thursday, after withdrawals were otherwise disabled for all users, millions started leaving the exchange.

The Bahamas Securities Commission said Thursday that it froze the assets of FTX and asked the Supreme Court to appoint a liquidator. On Saturday, after the unauthorized transactions, Bahamian police announced they were investigating the potential “criminal misconduct.”

Trouble started for FTX when a report surfaced showing that at least $5 billion of Alameda Research’s $14 billion balance sheet was in FTT, the utility token used to get discounts on trading fees. on the FTX crypto exchange. FTX and Alameda were founded and owned by FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, but he has always maintained that the two entities were separate.

Along with the FTT revelations, Alameda’s balance sheet also revealed that most of the company’s assets were held in highly illiquid tokens, such as Serum, the native token of the Solana-based decentralized exchange founded by Bankman- Fried.

The news prompted Binance to announce that it would liquidate its FTT position, worth $580 million at the time. The news rocked investors, who withdrew billions from FTX in 48 hours. Eventually, FTX ran out of funds to honor the withdrawals and announced that Binance had expressed its intention to acquire FTX. But within a day that deal fell apart and on Friday FTX filed for bankruptcy.

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