FTX moved users’ funds to offline wallets early Saturday morning after a spate of “unauthorized transactions” drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the beleaguered cryptocurrency exchange. Ryne Miller, the general counsel at FTX US, has not confirmed a hack, but said on Twitter that the company has taken the step to “mitigate damage” caused by the potential theft, as transferring money offline or to “cold storage” helps prevent outsiders from accessing it.
John Ray, the new CEO of FTX, who took the place of company founder Sam Bankman-Fried after his resignation on Friday, released a statement via Miller’s Twitter account on Saturday afternoon. “We are in the process of removing the trading and withdrawal functionality and moving as many digital assets as possible to a new cold wallet custodian,” Ray said. “As widely reported, unauthorized access to certain assets has occurred.” He adds that FTX is in contact with law enforcement and “relevant regulators” to address the situation.
“FTX has been hacked. All funds seem to run out, “an administrator on FTX’s official Telegram channel writes, while also instructing users to uninstall FTX’s apps and warn against visiting the platform’s websites due to the presence of malware. FTX.com and FTX.us are currently unavailable at the time of writing.
Some users on Twitter are speculating whether a member of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle has used up the exchange’s money, with crypto sleuth ZachXBT stating “several former FTX employees have confirmed to me that they do not recognize these transfers.” Nick Percoco, the CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, says the platform was able to identify the account in question, as the alleged thief used Kraken to unload the money.
The last weeks report of CoinDesk helped trigger the rapid and catastrophic collapse of FTX, indicating that Alameda Research relied heavily on FTT, a sister token to FTX. This prompted Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao to announce that his exchange would sell its FTT tokens, causing the coin’s value to plummet and other customers to jump. As FTX struggled to make up for the reported $8 billion shortfall caused by the influx of withdrawal requests, Binance offered to buy the company but backtracked on its plans a day later, declaring that the issues were beyond our control or ours. ability to help. .”
According to a report of Reuters, anywhere from $1 billion to $2 billion in client funds remains missing after Bankman-Fried “secretly” transferred $10 billion from FTX to support Alameda Research. In a text message to Reuters, Bankman-Fried denied that the funds had been secretly transferred and reportedly replied “???” when asked about the missing funds. The outlet also discovered that Bankman-Fried had added a “backdoor” to FTX’s accounting system, which allegedly allowed the founder to change the company’s financial records “without warning other people.”
Update, 3:12 PM ET: Updated to add a statement from John Ray.