We searched for FTX’s ether — and we have questions

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In an effort to assess FTX’s financial situation, we’ve attempted, unsuccessfully, to track down the cold wallet with the remainder of the exchange’s ether. In the process of searching for the wallet, we encountered a series of interesting transactions that, while not evidence of any malfeasance, point to a very close relationship between FTX and Alameda Research.

Protos has reached out to FTX for additional information on where the cold wallet is and will update if we hear back.

The Ethereum address 0x3507e4978e0Eb83315D20dF86CA0b976c0E40CcB is believed to be the Alameda Research Binance Deposit Address and is identified on Block analyst Larry Cermak’s list of Alameda Research addresses.

There are also several important addresses that are controlled by FTX:

These wallets currently hold slightly less than 127,000 ether.

A total of 220,552 ether has moved from FTX Exchange 2 and the Alameda Research Binance Deposit Address between August 29 last year and October 20, 2022.

This is approximately 173% of the total amount we can currently identify in these FTX wallets.

The wallet labeled FTX Exchange has previously held much more ether than it does currently (around 9,000 ether). On June 30 — the same date as Alameda Research’s balance statement that was reviewed by CoinDesk — 250,000 ether were transferred from FTX Exchange to FTX Exchange 2, with thousands then moving to Alameda Research’s Binance Deposit Address in the following days.

Almost exactly one quarter later, on September 29, an additional 100,000 ether were transferred from FTX Exchange to FTX Exchange 2, replenishing a wallet that had been largely drained by thousands of ether moving into the Alameda Research Binance deposit address the day before.

Read more: FTX halts ERC-20, Solana, and Tron withdrawals

None of these transactions are evidence of malfeasance. However, they do leave us with unanswered questions. Both Sam Bankman-Fried and Changpeng Zhao cited liquidity issues for FTX in the announcement of Binance’s intention to acquire FTX.

A properly-run exchange should have all customer deposits, so it’s unclear what has led to FTX’s liquidity crisis, but it does suggest the firm may not have been properly run.

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