The US Department of Homeland Security has returned stolen funds to Bitfinex, according to recent reports. Bitfinex is a cryptocurrency exchange that experienced a major hack in August 2016, resulting in the loss of 119,756 bitcoins.
After the hack, the thieves attempted to launder the stolen tokens by moving them around. However, in 2022, the US Department of Homeland Security arrested two individuals suspected of the hacking and was able to intercept and recover some of the stolen funds.
Bitfinex has now confirmed that the US Department of Homeland Security has returned part of the stolen funds. The returned amount includes $312,219.71 in cash and 6.917 Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
The hack in 2016 was a significant event in the cryptocurrency industry, as it was one of the largest hacks at the time. The security flaw in the Bitfinex exchange resulted in the loss of nearly 119,756 Bitcoin, valued at $71.8 million at that time. With the current market price, the stolen BTC is worth more than $3 billion.
Following the hack, the hackers began moving the stolen cryptocurrency in an attempt to launder it. However, in February 2022, a married couple suspected of the hack were arrested by US authorities and charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering. The arrest led to the recovery of stolen cryptocurrencies worth $3.6 billion, making the US government the holder of the wealthiest BTC wallet.
Acknowledging the recovery of part of the stolen funds, Bitfinex’s Chief of Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino expressed their intention to recover as much of the stolen bitcoin as possible and redistribute it to the holders of the tokens that were issued in response to the hack in 2016.
The victims of the Bitfinex hack received Recovery Right Tokens (RTTs) as compensation, which act as an IOU. These tokens can be exchanged for cash or iFinex capital stock in the future. However, it is important to note that the funds recovered so far are not sufficient to meet all the redemptions for the RTTs, as stated by the crypto exchange.
The return of the stolen funds by the US Department of Homeland Security is a positive development for Bitfinex and its users. It demonstrates the authorities’ commitment to combating cryptocurrency-related crimes and provides hope for the recovery of stolen assets in the industry.
In conclusion, the US Department of Homeland Security has returned a portion of the stolen funds from the 2016 hack to Bitfinex. While the recovered amount is significant, it is still not enough to meet all the redemptions for the tokens issued as a result of the hack. Nevertheless, this recovery highlights the efforts being made to combat cryptocurrency-related crimes and brings hope to victims of such incidents.