FTX founder secretly moved $10bn of customer funds to his firm, over $1bn missing: Report

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About USD 1 billion in customer funds have vanished from troubled cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Reuters reported citing top official sources. The exchange’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried secretly transferred $10 billion of customer funds from FTX to Bankman-Fried’s trading company Alameda Research, the people told Reuters. A big share of the $10 billion has since vanished, said sources with one saying the missing amount was about $1.7 billion and the other revealing it was somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion.

Meanwhile, FTX has said on its Telegram channel that the crypto platform has been hacked and there is a discrepancy of USD 600 million in funds as they were ‘transferred’.

The “transfers” occured on the same day that FTX formally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after losing allegedly billions of dollars in user payments. The transfers have not been officially acknowledged by FTX leadership.

Watch | Binance walks away from FTX deal due to ‘mishandled funds’

According to Coindesk, the incident happened on Wednesday. Although there isn’t much information available about what happened, the company announced on its Telegram channel that it had been hacked and advised customers to avoid installing any new updates and delete any FTX apps in addition.

“FTX has been hacked. FTX apps are malware. Delete them. Chat is open. Don’t go on FTX site as it might download Trojans,” said a forum administrator in the FTX Support channel.

Also read | Crypto collapse: ‘Gold standard’ FTX files for bankruptcy, CEO resigns

The message was then reportedly pinned by FTX General Counsel Ryne Miller.

Miller had earlier tweeted that he was “investigating abnormalities with wallet movements related to consolidation of FTX balances across exchanges.”

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In another tweet on Saturday, Miller said that the exchange was hastening the move of all digital assets into cold storage “to mitigate damage upon observing unauthorised transactions.”

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Also read | Crypto-exchange FTX’s troubles far from over over; top US finance watchdogs probe its costumer assets handling

Cryptocurrency wallets that are not online are referred to as being in the “cold storage”,  these are used to stave off hackers.

As per a Reuters report quoting data from Singapore-based analytics firm Nansen, there was a one-day net outflow of about $266 million, with $73 million withdrawn from FTX US alone.

(With inputs from agencies)

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