The second set of cryptocurrency transactions on Thursday that moved assets from wallets connected to Alameda Research was likely executed by liquidators in charge of FTX.com’s bankruptcy, according to blockchain analytics firm Nansen.
The newer transactions came after cryptocurrency wallets linked to Alameda Research, the trading arm of Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX.com, resumed activities on Wednesday for the first time since Dec. 1, which has triggered “major alarm bells” amongst industry watchers.
The majority of these assets involved in the first set of transactions have moved to two new wallet addresses belonging to unidentified owners.
The two wallets together received over US$1.6 million, half of which came from Alameda-linked wallets while the rest were moved from unidentified accounts, Nansen data journalist Martin Lee told Forkast in an email.
Some of the funds were then sent to decentralized exchanges (DEX), or peer-to-peer decentralized finance (DeFi) marketplaces in which transactions are enabled by smart contracts, such as FixedFloat and ChangeNow. The two platforms describe themselves as instant and private exchanges and don’t require user registration.
According to crypto intelligence company Arkham, some of the decentralized platforms that received funds are considered “crypto mixers,” a tool often used by cyber criminals to obscure the transaction history of cryptocurrencies.
A spokesperson from Fixedfloat denied that the company is a crypto mixer. ChangeNow issued a statement Thursday and said their compliance team is working with investigators after blocklisting the suspicious wallets.
Some members of the crypto community suggested that it may be possible that the FTX restructuring team, which should now be in charge of the assets under the bankrupt exchange and its affiliates, may also own the two unidentified wallets.
Others argued that the use of the two DeFi platforms makes it unlikely that these transactions were executed by the official liquidators.
“The assets here are certainly getting ‘liquidated’ – but this doesn’t seem like the work of a liquidator,” Arkham said in a Twitter thread. “Directly sending funds to mixing services is never a good sign.”
The suspicious blockchain activities came a few days after Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of Alameda and FTX, was released on a US$250 million bail package after getting extradited to the U.S. from the Bahamas last week. The 30-year-old is currently under house arrest at his parents’ home as he awaits his trial for federal fraud charges.
According to Lee, one of the two wallets received 0.66 Ether (US$800) from an address that Nansen has tagged as belonging to Bankman-Fried.
Bankman-Fried and Alameda could not be reached for comment. Legal counsel for Alameda and Bankman-Fried did not respond to emails from Forkast.