FTX hacker now one of the world's largest holders of ethereum

Representation of Ethereum cryptocurrency is seen in this illustration photo taken in Sulkowice, Poland on August 12, 2021. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Ethereum cryptocurrency. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty

The hacker of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX is now one of the world's largest holders of ethereum, with a stolen haul worth an estimated $288m at current market prices.

The hack occurred on Friday night after FTX's bankruptcy filing. The FTX exchange was drained of more than $663m in a variety of crypto assets, according to blockchain intelligence company Elliptic.

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The crypto wallet address that has drained hundreds of millions of dollars worth of digital assets from the FTX can be viewed on the blockchain and the majority of funds are denominated in ether (ETH-USD), ethereum's native cryptocurrency.

Blockchain security services company Beosin found that there is over $338m in stolen digital assets in the hacker's wallet, and of this total, nearly $289m is in ether.

Fears that a large haul of ethereum could soon be dumped on the market and cause a rapid devaluing of the cryptocurrency should be balanced with the risks involved to the hacker if they were to perform such an action.

The blockchain is transparent, and a quick check of Etherscan, the on-chain registry of transitions, would show exactly where the etherem was sent from and who the receiver was.

Ethereum hacked from FTX that is dumped on the market would be located and could then be returned to the beleaguered exchange, which is has entered administration.

Read more: Crypto tanks after FTX implosion

The hacker may have no alternative but to place their large haul of ethereum into cold storage, which could be good for the value of ether as it reduces the amount for sale on the market.

After Friday night's hack, an FTX Support Telegram group administrator said: "FTX has been hacked. FTX apps are malware. Delete them. Chat is open. Don't go on FTX site as it might download Trojans."

Hours after the attack, FTX General Counsel Ryne Miller tweeted that the crypto exchange was making ''every effort to secure all assets, wherever located".

And days after the hack Crypto analytic firm Certik tweeted that the hacker wallet is still draining crypto assets from the wallets associated with the beleaguered FTX exchange.

The US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has now placed FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried under scrutiny and the crypto exchange is facing criminal charges in the Bahamas.

Amid the current drama, the blue chips at the top of the cryptocurrency market are bleeding out, with bitcoin (BTC-USD) falling nearly 10% in value over the past seven days, to a subdued $16,867.

Ethereum fell nearly 6.5% in the past week to a low of $1,233.

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