Amid speculation of a “hack” which may have drained the rest of bankrupt FTX’s remaining funds, founder Sam Bankman-Fried texted Reuters on Saturday, saying he was still in the Bahamas and denying social media rumors that he had hopped on a private jet to Buenos Aires.
When asked by Reuters whether he had flown to Argentina, Bankman-Fried responded in a text message: “Nope.” He told Reuters he was in the Bahamas.
The Reuters news follows rumors that SBF boarded a jet for a non-extradition country in South America as part of his fraudulent great escape.
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A post in FTX’s Telegram channel called the unauthorized transactions a “hack,” according to WSJ.
Tom Robinson, the co-founder of blockchain analysis company Ellipticm, said at least $473 million in crypto appeared to be taken from FTX. He said the tokens were converted to ether.
Another day, another plot twist in the FTX bankruptcy saga.
FTX — which was clearly insolvent after the biggest fraud in crypto history — filed for bankruptcy on Friday. The official Twitter account of FTX retweeted Ryne Miller, the company’s US general counsel, who warned late Friday:
“Investigating abnormalities with wallet movements related to consolidation of ftx balances across exchanges – unclear facts as other movements not clear. Will share more info as soon as we have it.”
Miller then tweeted:
“Following the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings – FTX US and FTX [dot] com initiated precautionary steps to move all digital assets to cold storage. Process was expedited this evening – to mitigate damage upon observing unauthorized transactions.
Then another twist emerged when an administrator on the Telegram support group for FTX stated:
“FTX has been hacked . . . Don’t go on FTX site as it might download Trojans.”
“With all eyes on FTX, the late-night fund transfers on a Friday night raised questions about the company’s intent. While some blockchain investigators saw it as the start of the bankruptcy process, speculations around ill-intent or an external hack surfaced across the crypto ecosystem,” Cointelegraph explained.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried resigned yesterday and was replaced by John J. Ray, III – the lawyer who helped clean up Enron – as incoming CEO.
SBF’s crypto empire collapse resulted in Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index downgrading his net wealth from $15.6 billion on Nov. 4 to zero by Friday.
Many on Twitter speculate SBF jumped on a private jet to Argentina.
It remains unclear if the late-night fund transfers, totaling more than $600 million, according to CoinDesk, are part of the bankruptcy process or something more sinister, such as a hack.
Reuters spoke with two people familiar with the matter who said upwards of $1 billion of customer funds have vanished from FTX.
CoinDesk said, “Many FTX wallet holders are also reporting that they are seeing $0 balances in their FTX.com and FTX US wallets.”