The unknown FTX hacker who stole $474 million from cryptocurrency exchange FTX in November 2022 has transferred $120 million worth of ETH converted to BTC through the decentralized exchange THORSwap.
The first ETH-BTC conversion transactions were made just a few days before the trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried began on October 3, 2023.
The hacker has been using a variety of methods to launder the stolen funds, including cross-chain bridges and mixers. According to Elliptic’s report, the initial theft was worth about $87 million in ETH, equivalent to 18% of the stolen sum. They also employed the same strategy; they converted 65,000 ETH in bitcoins with the use of RenBridge to launder the stolen money.
Elliptic stated, “The 180,000 ETH that was not converted to Bitcoin through RenBridge remained dormant until the early hours of Sep. 30, 2023 — by which time it was worth $300 million.”
The timing of the hacker’s recent activity is curious, given that it coincides with the trial of the founder of the exchange from which the funds were stolen. It is possible that the hacker is trying to cash out some of the stolen funds before the trial concludes, or that they are simply trying to make it more difficult for law enforcement to track down the funds.
The identity of the hacker after almost one year remains unknown, despite the hack that took place a year back. FTX insiders may be suspected of this, as well as hacking collectives from North Korea or associated with Russian criminal organizations.
The hacker faced substantial losses, approximately $94 million, while attempting to move and obscure the stolen funds through decentralized exchanges, cross-chain bridges, and mixers.