Nansen Report Reveals $4.1 Billion Transfer of FTT Tokens from Alameda to FTX Before Crash
Blockchain data analysts from Nansen have delved into the events leading up to the infamous collapse of FTX, shedding light on a significant $4.1 billion worth of FTT tokens transferred between the exchange and Alameda Research. These findings, outlined in a Nansen report shared with Cointelegraph, provide unique insights into the intertwined relationship between the two entities, both founded by Sam Bankman-Fried. The former FTX CEO is currently facing multiple charges related to the exchange's downfall.
The demise of FTX has been widely attributed to initial reports highlighting that a substantial 40% share of Alameda's $14.6 billion in assets was held in FTT tokens back in September 2022.
Nansen analysts have uncovered suspicious on-chain interactions between FTX and Alameda in the period preceding these reports. Between September 28 and November 1, Alameda transferred $4.1 billion worth of FTT tokens to FTX, alongside continuous transfers of United States dollar-pegged stablecoins amounting to $388 million.
On-chain data also indicates that FTX held approximately 280 million FTT tokens, constituting 80% of the total 350 million FTT supply. Blockchain data reflects significant proportions of FTT trading volume, reaching billions of dollars, flowing between various FTX and Alameda wallets.
Nansen's report also draws attention to the fact that a substantial portion of the FTT token supply, which included company tokens and unsold non-company tokens, was locked in a three-year vesting contract. Notably, the sole beneficiary of this contract is an Alameda-controlled wallet, as identified by the analysts.
Given that these two entities collectively controlled around 90% of the FTT token supply, Nansen suggests that they may have been supporting each other's balance sheets.
Furthermore, the report suggests that Alameda likely engaged in over-the-counter sales of FTT tokens, as well as using them as collateral for loans from cryptocurrency lending firms. The theory is supported by historical on-chain data revealing substantial flows of funds, reaching up to $1.7 billion, between FTX, Alameda, and Genesis Trading wallets in December 2021.
The collapse of the Terra ecosystem and the subsequent bankruptcy of Three Arrows Capital (3AC) are believed to have caused liquidity problems for Alameda due to the devaluation of FTT. This scenario allegedly led to a covert, $4 billion FTT-backed loan from FTX.
The researchers argue that this $4 billion transaction volume aligns with a $4 billion loan figure mentioned by close associates of Bankman-Fried in an interview with Reuters.
Blockchain data also indicates that Alameda was unable to fulfill an offer to purchase FTT tokens from Binance at $22 on November 6. This occurred after Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced the exchange's intention to offload its tokens in response to negative reports about Alameda's balance sheet.
These revelations paint a complex picture of the events leading up to the FTX collapse and highlight the interplay between major players in the crypto space. The findings from the Nansen report add further scrutiny to the circumstances surrounding the downfall of the exchange and the actions of its associated entities.