Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic has unveiled intriguing insights. It appears that the elusive exploiter on FTX has leveraged THORSwap to transform Ethereum into Bitcoin, a move that’s traceable on the blockchain.
The decentralized exchange THORSwap has recently emerged from a brief maintenance hiatus, prompted by the detection of suspicious activities on its platform. On October 12, THORSwap took to X (formerly Twitter) to declare its triumphant return. Users were encouraged to continue swapping over 5,500 assets across ten blockchains from their self-custody wallets, marking the platform’s revitalized operation.
The decision to halt swaps on October 6 was a swift response to the potential misuse of funds on the DEX platform. THORSwap recognized the illicit use and decided to suspend operations temporarily in search of a permanent solution.
In the most recent announcement, THORSwap has made few substantial changes to its platform, primarily introducing updated terms of service. These new terms stipulate that users must adhere to relevant laws, including Anti-Money Laundering regulations, and refrain from engaging in activities that contravene sanctions programs or involve unlawful financial practices. The updated terms also specify that THORSwap reserves the right to limit users’ access to the platform in cases of violations, stating:
“THORSwap reserves the right to terminate your access to the THORSwap Services at any time, without notice, for any reason whatsoever, including without limitation a violation of these terms.”
This move raised eyebrows in the cryptocurrency community, with many questioning THORSwap’s claim to being “decentralized” in light of its new rules, which appear more in line with those of a centralized exchange. One user on X inquired, “Is there any reason to use your services instead of a regular CEX? Did you just copy and paste their terms of service?”
According to ShapeShift founder Erik Voorhees, THORSwap and THORChain, the network it operates on, differ in their degree of centralization. While THORChain remains decentralized, THORSwap is a “centralized company that has made decisions about its own interface.”
In addition to the revised terms of service, THORSwap has revealed a partnership with an “industry leader” to implement additional safeguards against illicit fund flows. The protocol anticipates some adjustments in the days to come, as it fine-tunes its approach.
THORSwap’s return coincided with a report from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, which detailed the activities of the hacker who compromised the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX. The hacker initiated the movement of stolen funds in late September 2023, marking the first such movement since the attack. According to Elliptic, the anonymous hacker utilized THORSwap to convert a substantial 72,500 Ether, roughly equivalent to $120 million, into Bitcoin before routing the cryptocurrency through sanctioned cryptocurrency mixers, such as Sinbad.