In the past 24 hours, Alameda Research has transferred $ 2.7 million worth of Serum, FTX and Uniswap tokens into a portfolio in which the now-failed trading desk has amassed $ 89 million worth of assets, according to chain data.
As of this writing, none of the portfolios, all labeled as belonging to Sam Bankman-Fried cryptocurrency firm Alameda Research by blockchain analytics firm Nansen, have attempted to shift funds since yesterday.
The transactions are just the most recent unexplained transfers by Alameda Research portfolios following FTX Group’s Chapter 11 filing for bankruptcy, which includes FTX.com, West Realm Shires (parent company of FTX US) and Alameda Research .
On Saturday, Alameda Research moved $ 36 million in funds: $ 31 million in BitDAO (BIT) tokens, $ 5 million in SushiBar tokens, and $ 1 million in Render tokens.
Alameda bought 100 million BIT tokens last year from BitDAO, the decentralized autonomous organization founded last year by the Singapore-based exchange Bybit and backed by Peter Thiel, Founders Fund, Pantera Capital and Dragonfly Capital.
Alameda used FTT to buy BIT tokens, and as part of their deal, the organizations agreed that neither would sell each other’s tokens before November 2024. Earlier this month, BitDAO requested that Alameda prove it had not liquidated the tokens after BIT suddenly dropped 20%. Now, all 100 million BIT tokens appear to be in the wallet that Alameda has transferred funds from its other wallets to.
Alameda, founded in 2017 by Bankman-Fried and Tara Mac Aulay, is a quantitative trading company and the subsidiary of FTX. Bankman-Fried founded FTX in 2019 but did not step back from Alameda Research’s daily life until July 2021. When she did, Caroline Ellison and Sam Trabucco were named co-CEOs. Trabucco resigned in August, saying on Twitter that it could not “continue to personally justify the investment of time to be a central part of Alameda”.
Although Bankman-Fried argued that Alameda Research, the trading desk, and FTX, the exchange, were separate entities, a leaked balance sheet showed that Alameda depended heavily on being able to borrow client assets from FTX.
Most of the assets in the wallet Alameda sent funds to consisted of $ 32 million in Tether and $ 31 million in BIT on Monday morning. Yesterday, the company also tried to transfer $ 1.7 million worth of Ethereum from four separate wallets, but Etherscan claims that the failed transfers because the portfolios did not have enough funds to cover the gas.
Gas is the fee that the Ethereum network charges to process transactions. Since crypto transactions do not go through third parties, such as banks or credit card companies, the people who send funds pay the network validators directly for processing their transactions. These gas rates vary depending on how busy the network is or how fast the sender wants the funds to reach their destination.
For example, when one of the Alameda Research portfolios tried to move 936 ETH, worth around $ 1 million at the time, Etherscan shows that the gas commission on the failed transaction would have been 46 gwei. They are fractions of a cent (one gwei equals one billionth of 1 ETH).
The wallet should have had enough ETH to cover it, but users can specify how much they are willing to pay for gas for a transaction. So it could hypothetically be the case that whoever controls that Alameda Research portfolio didn’t 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 Decrypt.
FTX has come under a lot of scrutiny for its chain business since Friday, when the exchange and 134 other entities filed for bankruptcy. But hours later, $ 650 million in funds left FTX-controlled wallets in what were said to be “unauthorized” transactions.
“Among other things, we are removing the trading and withdrawal functionality and moving all digital assets that can be identified to a new cold wallet keeper,” wrote Ryne Miller, FTX General Counsel. on Twitter in a statement from FTX CEO John Ray. “As widely reported, there has been unauthorized access to certain resources.”
2 / Among other things, we are removing the trading and withdrawal functionality and moving all digital assets that can be identified to a new cold wallet keeper. As widely reported, unauthorized access to certain resources has occurred.
Since then, Bahamian authorities have said they did not order FTX to allow withdrawals from Bahamian users, as the exchange previously claimed on Twitter. Thursday, after withdrawals were otherwise disabled for all users, millions have started to exit the exchange.
The Bahamas Securities Commission said Thursday froze the assets of FTX and asked the Supreme Court to appoint a liquidator. By Saturday, after the unauthorized transactions, Bahamian police announced that they were investigating potential “criminal misconduct. “
The troubles began for FTX when a report emerged showing that at least $ 5 billion of Alameda Research’s $ 14 billion balance sheet was in FTT, the utility token used to obtain trading fee discounts on the cryptocurrency exchange. by FTX. Both FTX and Alameda were founded and are owned by FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, but he has always claimed that the two entities were separate.
In addition to 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 it would liquidate its FTT position $ 580 million at the time. The news shocked investors, who withdrew billions from FTX over the course of 48 hours. Eventually, FTX ran out of funds to honor withdrawals and announced that Binance had expressed intent to acquire FTX. But within a day, the deal fell apart and FTX filed for bankruptcy on Friday.
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