The thing most analysts feared but believed would happen is here. Alameda is washing the funds of FTX users. The reason behind it is unclear, but considering the likely charges against former Alameda and FTX management, someone who has access to funds is trying to get away with them while remaining anonymous.
The first report about the movement of funds from Alameda-related wallets occurred in less than 24 hours. At first it seemed like ETH addresses were looking for “spare change” that could be used as liquidity for future settlements with FTX users.
The funds are being swapped for BTC
— ZachXBT (@zachxbt) December 28, 2022
However, things became uglier after some ERC20 tokens swapped for ETH went on anonymous decentralized exchanges that would allow them to hide their tracks after swapping ETH for BTC. Coincidentally, SBF has been subscribed to the official account of the exchange used by someone from Alameda.
Such operations are obviously illegal, considering the charges pressed against Bankman-Fried, Caroline and others. However, there is a possibility of those operations being made with the oversight of financial regulators and prosecutors. Considering the sophisticated nature of those transfers, this version seems unlikely.
The amount swapped for BTC is not significant for such a large entity as Alameda. The total volume is still below $1 million. However, it might not be the end of the story. It is not clear how much Alameda has in its cold wallets and how much more liquidity we are going to see prior to the official settlement with creditors.
At press time, the CEO of FTX is not in jail, and neither are other Alameda representatives. But they might face up to 110 years in jail.