Russia's Role in the Collapse of Cryptocurrency Exchange FTX

Fri 13 Oct 2023 ▪ 3 min of reading ▪ by Evans S.
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Russia, frequently criticized for its discreet involvement in the crypto sphere, is now at the center of a major scandal: the lightning-fast hacking of FTX.

Crypto : FTX and Russie

A Colossal Crypto Loss and Traces Left Behind

The SDF lawsuit is attracting more and more attention, raising questions about the true stakes of the market.

Elliptic, a renowned expert firm, reveals a scenario worthy of a spy movie. FTX, once a crypto giant, saw its $400 million treasure vanish. Digital traces lead to cybercriminal groups in Russia, making the motherland the prime suspect.

Just a few days after the theft, a substantial transfer of 65,000 in ETH crypto, worth $100 million, was made to the Bitcoin blockchain. To orchestrate this maneuver, cybercriminals utilized the RenBridge service.

Concealment Maneuvers

But how to avoid the spotlight after such a heist? The wrongdoers, experts in the art of concealment, used blockchain-based mixers.

One of these services, ChipMixer, participated in converting 4,536 Bitcoins. However, the net tightens: $4 million in crypto is traced on various exchanges, possibly betraying an awkward withdrawal attempt.

When ChipMixer is taken down following an international operation, our criminals turn to Sinbad, another crypto mixing service. Suspicions multiply, and theories abound.

Lazarus, the infamous North Korean hacker group, was at one point under suspicion. However, evidence collected by Elliptic leans more towards Russia.

Consequences for FTX and Its Actors

On November 11, 2022, the FTX crypto exchange case takes a dramatic turn. Beyond the financial disruptions, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder, resigns, and shortly afterward, his accounts mysteriously empty. Allegations of fraud against him quickly emerge.

Despite the turmoil, activity around the stolen assets intensifies. Even before the trial of Bankman-Fried begins, these funds circulate, passing through platforms like Railgun and THORChain.

In this digital melee where actors mix and untangle, one question remains: how vulnerable is the crypto sphere to the schemes of nation-states and cybercriminals?

The FTX saga is a harsh reminder of the inherent risks in this universe, but it also reflects a complex geopolitics where crypto becomes a major issue. Meanwhile, BlackRock and JPMorgan dive into the sector.

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Evans S. avatar
Evans S.

Fasciné par le bitcoin depuis 2017, Evariste n'a cessé de se documenter sur le sujet. Si son premier intérêt s'est porté sur le trading, il essaie désormais activement d’appréhender toutes les avancées centrées sur les cryptomonnaies. En tant que rédacteur, il aspire à fournir en permanence un travail de haute qualité qui reflète l'état du secteur dans son ensemble.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.