FTX hacker becomes biggest Ethereum whale

  • The FTX hacker has amassed nearly $300 million worth of Ethereum and could be ready to dump it anytime soon.
  • Amid the FTX collapse, the total number of ETH whale addresses has also dropped to a nine-month low sparking risks of selling pressure.

It seems like the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH) has been caught in the crossfire of the collapse of the FTX exchange and the hacking incident that saw over $600 million worth of assets flown out of the exchange.

As we reported yesterday, the FTX hacker has been amassing ETH worth millions of dollars. The hacker has been converting all of the other stolen assets, including stablecoins, to ETH. As a result, the FTX exploiter has become the largest Ethereum whale holding nearly $300 million worth.

This has led to speculation that if the exploiter decides to cash out all the ETH at once, it could lead to a major ETH price crash. Popular crypto analyst Dylan LeClair reported:

The FTX exploiter, who has been dumping all other drained assets for ETH, is now one of the largest holders in the world, with 228,523 ETH ($284.82m) currently in their wallet. Everyone should keep an extremely close eye on what happens next…

During the hack on November 11, the hacker first received 35,185 PAXG stablecoins via 1000 different transactions. He quickly converted them to ETH. Later, the hacker also received $50 million worth of DAI stablecoins and converted them into ETH. The hacker so far has received nearly a quarter million Ethereum (ETH) coins. On-chain data provider Santiment reports:

This #FTX exploiter address has received funds from 100+ different addresses, with the largest being a total of 100,614 $ETH from address 0x9008d19f58aabd9ed0d60971565aa8510560ab41. 

Access to FTX’s cold storage wallets

Dyma Budorin, co-founder and chief executive of blockchain security auditing firm Hacken, told CoinDesk that the exploiter seems to have access to all the cold storage wallets that he exploited. In their investigation of blockchain transactions, Hacken found that the hacker sent the USDT stablecoins to the Tron blockchain multiple times.

However, he was unsuccessful since the wallet didn’t have enough TRX to pay for the transactions. As a result, the exploiter used a verified personal account on the crypto exchange Kraken to send 500 TRX to the compromised wallet address to pay for the transaction costs. However, Hacken was quick to spot this.

Now, since crypto exchange Kraken has strictly implemented its KYC measures, it has details of the personal wallet from where the TRX was sent. Nick Percoco, the chief security officer at Kraken claimed to know the identity of the person.

Coming back to Ethereum (ETH), investors are fearing a major dump could be seen ahead. As of press time, ETH is already trading 3% down at a price of $1,234. On the other hand, the collective ETH holdings of $100K+ Ethereum whale addresses have also dropped to a nine-month low. On-chain data provider Santiment reported:

Ethereum’s 100k+ $ETH addresses have dropped their collective holdings significantly since Nov 4th. Likely related to #FTX address shuffling, this blue line has correlated somewhat with price. But it may be anomalous under these unique circumstances.

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