Founder of Bankrupt Crypto Exchange FTX Denies Fleeing to South America | Science and technology news


The former CEO of one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges has denied fleeing to South America after the company filed for bankruptcy.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was asked by Reuters about Twitter speculation that he had flown to Argentina and responded in a text message: “Nope”.

The 30-year-old who has been dismissed as managing directortold Reuters he was in the Bahamas, where he lives.

Meanwhile, the crypto exchange has been mired in more controversy after it said it spotted unauthorized transactions and analysts warned that millions of dollars in assets had been moved from the platform under “suspicious circumstances.”

FTX filed for bankruptcy on Friday after its larger rival Binance backed out of a proposed takeover.

At least $1bn (£845m) worth of client funds have disappeared from the platform, Reuters reported, citing sources.

The news agency said Mr Bankman-Fried had transferred $10bn (£8.4bn) in client funds to his trading firm Alameda Research.

Further problems surfaced when FTX’s U.S. General Counsel, Ryne Miller, tweeted that the company’s digital assets were being moved to so-called cold storages “to mitigate the damage of observing unauthorized transactions.”

Cold storage refers to crypto wallets that are not connected to the internet to protect against hackers.

Earlier, Mr. Miller tweeted that he was “investigating anomalies in wallet movements related to the consolidation of FTX balances across exchanges.”

Blockchain analytics firm Nansen said it saw $659 million (£557 million) in outflows from FTX International and FTX US over the past 24 hours.

A separate analytics firm, Elliptic, said around $473 million (£400 million) worth of cryptoassets were “removed from FTX wallets in suspicious circumstances earlier this morning” but could not confirm the tokens were stolen.

The stock market crisis has raised more questions about the regulation of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

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