Blockchain data analysts from Nansen revisited the days leading up to the FTX collapse, including the transfer of $4.1 billion worth of FTT tokens between the exchange and Alameda Research.
A Nansen report shared with Cointelegraph reveals unique observations from the blockchain analytics firm, highlighting the close relationship between the two companies founded by Sam Bankman-Fried as the former FTX CEO appears in court to face a series of charges related to the stock market crash.
The collapse of FTX is widely said to have been triggered by initial reports indicating a significant 40% stake of Alameda’s $14.6 billion assets was held in FTT tokens in September 2022.
Nansen analysts revealed that they observed questionable on-chain interactions between FTX and Alameda before these reports emerged. Between September 28 and November 1, Alameda sent $4.1 billion in FTT tokens to FTX and several ongoing transfers of USD-pegged stablecoins worth $388 million.
On-chain data also indicated that FTX holds approximately 280 million FTT tokens (80%) of the total FTT supply of 350 million. Blockchain data reflects “significant” proportions of FTT trading volume amounting to billions of dollars flowing between the various FTX and Alameda wallets.
Nansen also highlights that most of the FTT token supply, consisting of the company’s tokens and unsold non-company tokens, was locked into a three-year maturity contract. The only beneficiary of the contract is the portfolio controlled by Alameda, according to analysts.
Given that the two companies control about 90% of the supply of the FTT token, Nansen notes that the entities have been able to shore up each other’s balance sheets.
The report also notes that Alameda likely sold FTT tokens over-the-counter, as well as collateral for loans from cryptocurrency lending companies.
“This theory is supported by historical on-chain data where we have observed regular large inflows and outflows between FTX, Alameda and Genesis Trading wallets with transfer volumes reaching $1.7 billion as seen in December 2021.”
The collapse of the Terra ecosystem and subsequent bankruptcy of Three Arrows Capital (3AC) likely created liquidity issues for Alameda due to the decline in FTT’s value, which resulted in a $4 billion FTT-backed secret loan from FTX.
“Our on-chain data suggests this may have happened. In the midst of the 3AC collapse in mid-June 2022, Alameda sent approximately 163 million FTT to FTX wallets, worth up to $4 billion at the time.
The researchers claim that the $4 billion transaction volume coincided with a $4 billion loan figure disclosed by associates close to Bankman Fried in an interview with Reuters.
Blockchain data also reflects how Alameda was unable to take advantage of Binance’s $22 FTT token purchase offer on November 6. This was after Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, announced that the exchange would be offloading its tokens following derogatory reports about Alameda. balance sheet.
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