According to publicly available blockchain data, 2,500 ether ($4 million) linked to the notorious FTX exploit has begun to move for the first time in nearly a year. This development comes amid a period of intense scrutiny and change in the crypto landscape, with Ethereum-based ETFs launching in the United States and high-profile arrests shaking up the industry. The unanticipated movement saw the funds divided through multiple transactions. Specifically, 700 ether was processed using Thorchain Router, a cross-chain bridge focusing on privacy. Moreover, 1,200 ether was transferred via Railgun, a DeFi wallet celebrated for its shielded transactions. The remaining 550 ether has been relocated to another unidentified wallet.
A web of intrigue and speculation
Adding another layer of complexity, this sudden financial activity coincides with the recent arrest of Zhu Su, a well-known figure in the crypto world. The timing has sparked speculation on whether there could be a connection between Su and the anonymous FTX exploiter, who still possesses 12,500 ether ($21 million) in the original wallet. Furthermore, accounts connected to the collapsed FTX exchange were drained last year, shortly after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and its controversial founder Sam Bankman-Fried stepped down.
Bankman-Fried, who is slated for trial next week, has entered a plea of not guilty on all counts. Previously, 21,500 ether, which was valued at $27 million at the time of the exploit, was converted into the stablecoin DAI.
Additionally, blockchain data analytics from Spotonchain have revealed two separate transactions where the exploiter shifted 2,500 ETH, each worth $4 million. These movements often signal a potential selling activity, which may impact market prices and smaller investors. Concurrently, the crypto market is closely watching the imminent launch of multiple Ethereum-based ETFs in the United States.
While the launch of these ETFs may impact Ethereum’s price positively, the uncertain climate stemming from a potential U.S. government shutdown looms large, potentially affecting Bitcoin prices adversely.
Hence, the series of developments paints a portrait of a crypto ecosystem on the verge of significant transformation, marked by regulatory shifts, market volatility, and the mysterious activities of unidentified actors. The FTX hacker’s decision to move vast sums after a period of inactivity adds yet another variable to an already complicated equation, heightening the sense of unpredictability that continues to characterize the cryptocurrency market.