Blockchain data analysts at Nansen have uncovered unusual transactions involving $4.1 billion worth of FTT tokens exchanged between FTX and Alameda Research in the days leading up to the collapse of FTX.
Close Relationship and FTX’s CEO in Court
The Nansen report sheds light on the close relationship between the two companies, both founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, with the former FTX CEO currently facing multiple charges related to the FTX group’s collapse.
Nansen’s findings reveal that between September 28 and November 1, Alameda transferred $4.1 billion in FTT tokens to FTX, along with continuous transfers of various US dollar stablecoins totaling $388 million. Suspicious on-chain interactions were observed before the public became aware of these reports.
Locked Token Supply and Mutual Support
Most of the FTT token supply, comprising company tokens and unsold non-company tokens, was locked in a three-year vesting contract controlled by an Alameda wallet. This led Nansen to suggest that the two entities supported each other’s balance sheets, given their control of around 90% of the FTT token supply.
Liquidity Issues and Covert Loan
The collapse of the Terra/LUNA algorithmic stablecoin and the bankruptcy of 3 Arrows Capital (3AC) allegedly led to liquidity problems for Alameda due to the declining value of FTT. This, in turn, prompted a covert $4 billion FTT-backed loan from FTX.
Nansen’s researchers suggest that the $4 billion transaction coincided with a $4 billion loan figure mentioned by Bankman-Fried’s close associates 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, following negative reports about Alameda’s balance sheet.