Did Sam Bankman-Fried Secretly Cash Out $1.5M?

$1.48 million in cryptocurrencies was cashed out from Alameda and SBF-linked wallets through four different off-ramps.

Did Sam Bankman-Fried Secretly Cash Out $1.5M?
Photo edited by Mariia Kozyr

Key Takeaways

  • Sam Bankman-Fried may have sent over $1.48 million worth of crypto to various exchanges to cash out the funds.
  • One of his publicly-known wallets, along with numerous known Alameda wallets, consolidated funds together and then proceeded to ramp them off through three centralized exchanges, as well as Ren.
  • It seems unlikely for law enforcement to be in control of these wallets.

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Sam Bankman-Fried insisted he only had $100,000 left in his bank account, but he never mentioned his wallets! The crypto villain may have cashed out as much as $1.48 million.

Suspicious On-Chain Activity

Sam Bankman-Fried may have cashed out a significant sum from his on-chain wallets—$1.48 million, by Crypto Briefing’s calculation.

As noted by DeFi analyst BowTiedIguana, on-chain data shows that on December 27 a wallet associated with Bankman-Fried sent 0.66 ETH to a newly created Ethereum wallet starting in 0x7386. We know the original wallet belonged to SBF because he’d tweeted it out in September 2020.

The 0x7386 wallet received a total of 569.95 ETH from dozens of wallets in more than a hundred transactions within the space of five hours. Some of these wallets are tagged on Etherscan as belonging to Alameda Research.

It then proceeded to send 519.95 ETH to a wallet starting in 0x64e9. This wallet was also newly created, but it already held 800,000 USDT before the ETH transaction. The previous 800,000 USDT were sent to four different addresses, all of which then consolidated the USDT into one wallet starting in 0x4e5b. According to Etherscan, that wallet belongs to centralized exchange FixedFloat. 

Meanwhile, 0x64e9 proceeded to swap most of its 519.95 ETH for USDT. 200,000 USDT was swapped again for 10.33 renBTC. The funds were then bridged to Ren, which provides full transaction privacy. 

Another 200,000 USDT was sent to three different wallets and consolidated once again in a wallet starting with 0xbb3fd, which Nansen flags as belonging to Binance. 

Finally, the 310.85 ETH remaining were sent across eight different wallets and consolidated once again, this time on a wallet starting in 0x077d, which Etherscan labels as belonging to crypto exchange ChangeNOW. The remaining 50 ETH from the original 0x7386 address were also sent to this wallet, after a brief hop through a burner wallet.

Adding all of these up, it seems like whoever controls these wallets cashed out roughly $1,480,500 in cryptocurrencies.

Was it necessarily Bankman-Fried? No. Someone else could’ve discovered these SBF-linked wallets’ private keys, especially since bankruptcy filings seem to indicate the FTX group wasn’t particularly careful with security. On the other hand, it appears unlikely that the funds were moved on behest of law enforcement, since the wallet activity indicates the owner was mindful of using relatively censorship-resistant methods to cash out.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other crypto assets.

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