Flare token rug pulls or is exploited for $17 million

Chart showing the price of $FLARE (denominated in USDT) over the previous five days. The price hovered between $18 and $20, until briefly spiking to around $25 before plummeting to $0.000001754.FLARE/USDT (attribution)
Exploits and rug pulls of random tokens on BNB Chain are fairly commonplace, but typically the amount of money lost is fairly minimal. In this case, exploiters or insiders were able to siphon 3.9 billion $FLARE from the Flare project, which they swapped for just under $17 million.

This serves as a good example of how theft amounts shouldn't be naively calculated based on the token price before the theft × the number of tokens stolen. $FLARE was priced at around $18.25 before the attack, and a naive calculation would place the theft amount at $71 billion. However, the lack of liquidity caused the token price to plummet to $0.0000018, and the attacker ultimately ended up with around $17 million.

Over $4 million drained from DeFiAI

"Our contract has been hacked and has caused a lot of losses," wrote DeFiAI simply in their announcement. That same day, the project had announced the launch of a new website for their project.

The total funds stolen appear to be around $4.17 million, according to analysis by SlowMist.

Tokensoft intentionally publishes personal data of around 5,000 users who they believe are "bad actors"

Tokensoft is a project that aims to help web3 projects launch fairly, without the launches being gamed. The group evidently thought they had come across 5,000 or so users who had been gaming airdrops, to which their solution was to publish a list of private user data about those individuals. The list included full names, wallet addresses, and physical and IP addresses.

Several users replied to the message in shock that their data was exposed, saying they'd never done anything wrong. The Tokensoft employee replied, "If you made it on the naughty list...yes, shame on you....I shared your info, better luck next time".

The project later deleted the link from the Discord server, then tried to claim that it had never been posted at all, then issued a statement that "information was mistakenly posted in Tokensoft's social media channels".

Bahamas Securities Commission issues statement that they didn't instruct FTX to process withdrawals for Bahamian customers

The Securities Commission of the Bahamas issued a statement saying that "The Commission wishes to advise that it has not directed, authorized or suggested to [FTX] the prioritization of withdrawals for Bahamian clients."

This contradicted FTX's previous statement that "Per our Bahamian HQ's regulation and regulators, we have begun to facilitate withdrawals of Bahamian funds." The announcement that they would be processing withdrawals for Bahamian customers led to a slew of non-Bahamian customers trying to find ways to withdraw their funds via bribes and shady NFT deals.

Some have viewed FTX's choice to enable Bahamian withdrawals as evidence that they were trying to allow FTX employees and family members to get access to their funds on the exchange, even when most customers had no such access.

Crypto.com CEO admits company accidentally sent 320,000 ETH ($416 million) to another crypto exchange a few weeks prior

A Twitter user posted Etherscan screenshots showing a massive flow of crypto from the Crypto.com cryptocurrency exchange to another exchange, Gate.io. "Anyone know why Crypto.com would send 320k ETH (82% of their ETH today) to Gate.io on October 21?", they wrote. "And why Gate.io would send back to Crypto.com 285K ETH 5-7 days later?"

Crypto.com's CEO, Kris Marszalek, replied: "It was supposed to be a move to a new cold storage address, but was sent to a whitelisted external exchange address. We worked with Gate team and the funds were subsequently returned to our cold storage." He later clarified that all of the funds were returned.

Twitter users, reasonably, reacted in horror at the revelation that the platform had accidentally sent such a substantial portion of their funds elsewhere in a careless mistake, and that such a monumental mistake was even possible. They were lucky that they erroneously sent the funds to another exchange, and one who agreed to return the funds.

This is not the first time Crypto.com has erroneously transferred funds; in August of this year, they sued a woman to whom they'd accidentally sent $7.2 million that wasn't hers.

FTX claims it was hacked as more than $600 million is withdrawn

Telegram screenshot of a message by Rey: "Ftx has been hacked. All funds seem to be gone. FTX apps are malware. Delete them. Chat is open. Don't go on ftx site as it might download Trojans."Screenshot of a message from an FTX Telegram admin (attribution)
Over $600 million was mysteriously withdrawn from FTX and FTX US late on November 11, despite the company freezing withdrawals.

An FTX account administrator wrote on the FTX support Telegram, "FTX has been hacked. FTX apps are malware. Delete them. Chat is open. Don't go on FTX site as it might download Trojans". The message was pinned by FTX General Counsel Ryne Miller.

Miller later wrote on Twitter, "Investigating abnormalities with wallet movements related to consolidation of ftx balances across exchanges - unclear facts as other movements not clear. Will share more info as soon as we have it."

A Telegram admin subsequently wrote, "Not all hope is lost. Engineers have managed to retrieve substantial amount of funds," but no details were provided beyond that. A later announcement by Miller claimed that FTX had "initiated precautionary steps to move all digital assets to cold storage", suggesting some of the transfers may have been a part of that effort.

Many speculated that the so-called hack had been coordinated by insiders.

FTX files for bankruptcy, Sam Bankman-Fried resigns

Aaaand there it goes.

FTX announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States. Sam Bankman-Fried resigned as CEO.

SBF had spoken about trying to raise additional funds. In leaked Slack messages, he had allegedly written that "One could maybe say, if they wanted to be optimistic, that we have a lot theoretically in and/or potentially for the raise". No one was actually saying this.

Early crypto investor loses $42 million in wallet compromise

Bo Shen, a general partner at Fenbushi Capital and an early adopter of cryptocurrencies, tweeted on November 22 that two weeks prior, someone had stolen $42 million in cryptocurrencies from his personal wallet. "The stolen assets are personal funds and do not affect on Fenbushi related entities," he wrote.

Analysis by the crypto security firm SlowMist attributed the theft to a compromise of Shen's seed phrase. Shen had been using the Trust Wallet software, though the theft does not appear to be related to security issues with the wallet software.

Users attempt to circumvent FTX withdrawal freeze with bribes and NFTs

Users panicked when FTX stopped processing withdrawals, particularly those with substantial amounts of funds locked in the exchange. When the exchange tweeted that they had "begun to facilitate withdrawals of Bahamian funds", some saw an opportunity.

"Any FTX employees willing to change my accounts country of residence to Bahamas to facilitate withdrawal I am offering $1 million and unlimited legal fees", wrote one trader (who later claimed to be joking).

A popular crypto Twitter user named "Algod" offered $100,000 to any FTX employee who would process their KYC documents, allowing them to withdraw. He was subsequently seen to be successfully withdrawing over $2 million in assets from the platform. He also shared links to a Telegram group where his partner was offering to buy people's FTX accounts for 10¢ on the dollar, from customers who feared they may never see the money again, or would only regain access to a fraction of it after years of court proceedings. Algod later denied "erroneous and defamatory statements" that he'd bought discounted claims/assets", admitting that he'd considered it, but claiming he ultimately decided not to.

Some observers noticed over $21 million withdrawn via NFT trades, that appeared to be being used as a way to bypass the internal blocks on users transferring balances to one another. People with funds locked in FTX bought NFTs from Bahamas-based users, spending their full account balance on the NFT and thus enabling the Bahamian user to then withdraw the funds. "This appears to be the first recorded case of NFT utility in existence 👍", wrote Cobie.

The Securities Commission of the Bahamas freezes FTX assets, appoints provisional liquidator

The Securities Commission of the Bahamas (where FTX is headquartered) announced they had frozen the assets of FTX and "related parties" — presumably Alameda. They also disclosed that they had suspended FTX's registration, and appointed a provisional liquidator.

The announcement went on to say, "The Commission is aware of public statements suggesting that clients' assets were mishandled, mismanaged and/or transferred to Alameda Research. Based on the Commission's information, any such actions would have been contrary to normal governance, without client consent and potentially unlawful."

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