FTX attacker turns to ChipMixer to launder tokens
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The FTX attacker turned to ChipMixer to launder funds and has already laundered around 360 Bitcoins (BTC), according to ZachXBT, a hacker working on the chain.
— ZachXBT (@zachxbt) November 25, 2022
The FTX feeder has been active since November 12th. In addition to the significant hits that caught the attention of the community, the attacker has been continuously moving tokens between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM UTC.
The attack was first noticed when FTX and FTX US started experiencing withdrawals of $450 million. The stolen funds were first sold as tokens, including Ethereum (ETH) and Binance USD (BNB), before being merged into one main wallet.
On November 17th, the attacker was found to have drained another 30,000 BNB tokens, worth around $7.95 million at the time. Another major hit came on November 21st, when an attacker moved 180,000 ETH in 12 separate transactions.
As of August 2022, ChipMixer helped launder 48.9 percent of Bitcoin network funds, while Tornado Cash helped with 74.6 percent. About 26,021 Bitcoins were sent to ChipMixer and 14,370 Bitcoins were removed from the protocol in the first six months of the year.
According to crypto influencer FatManTerra, ChipMixer is used by the US government and is a “US government honeypot”.
🧵 Today I’m sharing my long-standing theory behind the US government’s covert operation to partially break Bitcoin’s privacy and de-anonymize transactions. I believe the popular Bitcoin mixer ChipMixer is actually a US government honeypot. Here’s why.
– FatMan (@FatManTerra) November 23, 2022
According to FatManTerra, ChipMixer launched in 2017 with generous reservations and an unusual “pay what you want” model and quickly rose to prominence. It spent large sums on commissions and advertising, but had no revenue.
In a 19-tweet thread, FatManTerra explained why he is “absolutely certain” that ChipMixer is a honeypot, and said he had his eye on other protocols that could also be honeypots. He states:
“After looking at the history of ChipMixer, it’s clear to me that they are run by an extremely wealthy entity that doesn’t care about profitability and has a lot of money to burn to popularize the service – millions spent, but the income comes solely from small donations.”