FTX Hacker Converts ETH to BTC: Market Manipulation Theories Abound

The FTX hacker is acting up – Along with the collapse of FTX, the exchange platform was the target of a major hack. More $400 million from a cold wallet were thus stolen. Now the hacker seems to be converting the funds to BTC.

FTX hack: 400 million gone

For almost two weeks, we have been following the descent into hell of the FTX exchange platform. Following a liquidity crisis, it had to declare bankruptcy. However, over the days, new information has come to highlight the chaotic management of the platform.

Subsequently, on November 12, the platform was the target of an attack. In total, the attacker stole 400 million dollars on a cold wallet from FTX.

Quickly, many Internet users find it curious that the attacker managed to access an FTX cold wallet so easily. So well, that a rumor was born that Sam Bankman-Fried and his associates may be behind the attack.

Either way, the attacker quickly converted the entire funds held on Ethereum into ETH. At his peak, the striker had 228,000 ETHmaking him the 35th largest ETH holder on the Ethereum network.

The hacker converts his ETH into BTC

After 4 days without activity, the hacker’s address has suddenly been talked about again. Thus, he undertook to convert his ETH into BTC.

To do this, it has sent a total of 50,000 ETH at a new address. From this address, the attacker started to exchange ETH for tokenized versions of BTCnamely renBTC.

One of the exchange transactions from ETH to renBTC – Source: Etherscan.

Once the renBTC was in his possession, the attacker massively repatriated his tokens to the Bitcoin blockchain via the renBTC bridge.

In total, the attacker thus returned 3,517 renBTC on the Bitcoin network via 4 trades (1, 2, 3, 4). The total amount of the transaction is $54.8 million.

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Is the hacker after the crypto market?

Obviously, these moves have not left the crypto community unmoved. Thus, we have seen the multiplication of theories aimed at explaining these movements.

Among them, the theory proposed by 0xStacker envisages that the attacker wishes to operate broad market manipulations.

“The goal is to capture the maximum price movement as many times as possible so he can clean up his untracked accounts. If the market capitulates and he can redeem his ETH cheaper, then he can repeat the process again. »

According to him, the attacker resolutely converted his ETH to renBTC on a Sunday on pools with little liquidity to impact the price of ETH. At the same time, he would make sure to short ETH with other accounts.

“He sells his ETH on an illiquid day (Sunday) in a low liquidity pool (renBTC) while maximum shorting the ETH with private accounts. »

0xStacker envisages that the attacker can perform the opposite maneuver, namely reselling the renBTC while shorting the BTC in order to take advantage of price movements.

An interesting theory, which unfortunately cannot be validated given the lack of information available to us on the attacker.

For his part, the situation continues to worsen for Sam Bankman-Fried. In fact, this one is accused of embezzling millions from FTX fundraisers.

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