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Crypto exchange Bitfinex receives stolen crypto from US authorities

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Crypto exchange Bitfinex was the victim of a hack in August 2016. However, as of 6 July, the crypto exchange received their stolen funds in cash and BCH from the US Homeland Security after two individuals were arrested for hacking the platform.

Crypto exchange Bitfinex receives stolen crypto from US Homeland Security

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  • Bitfinex recovers cash and BCH of its stolen funds from US authorities
  • The exchange said that this recovered amount still does not meet the current redemption demand

Bitfinex, a leading crypto exchange, announced that it has received cash and Bitcoin Cash [BCH] from the US Department of Homeland Security. The returned funds are from the August 2016 hack incident. The US authorities gained control over these funds in 2022, after the arrest of the two individuals accused of hacking the platform.

The hack was one of the biggest hacks in the crypto space at the time. Nearly 119,756 Bitcoin [BTC] was stolen from the exchange because of a security breach. These coins were worth $71.8 million at the time, and it is currently valued at more than $3 billion. Bitfinex hackers had since moved the stolen crypto several times in an attempt to launder them.

Read Bitcoin’s [BTC] Price Prediction 2023-24

However, the culprits were caught by the US authorities in February 2022 and identified as a married couple – Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan. Both the accused were from New York and were charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The arrest also resulted in the seizure of $3.6 billion in stolen cryptocurrency by the authorities. Notably, this seizure placed the US government among the wealthiest Bitcoin wallets. Bitfinex Chief of Technology Officer – Paolo Ardoino – said,

“This specific seizure demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement officials to diligently track all the proceeds of the crime committed against Bitfinex almost seven years ago.”

Bitfinex hack redemption

According to the announcement made by Bitfinex, the exchange has regained $312,219.71 in cash and 6.917 BCH. Ardoino stated that they “look forward to recovering as much of the stolen bitcoin as we possibly can and redistributing that to holders of the tokens that were issued in response to the hack in 2016.”

Bitfinex had distributed Recovery Right Tokens [RTTs] to the victims of the hack, acting as an IOU. The tokens could be exchanged for cash or iFinex capital stock at a later date. Currently, a total of 30 million RRTs are in circulation, and the exchange stated that the amount that they had currently recovered was not enough to meet all the redemptions.

Additionally, “RRT holders must be redeemed at $1, following which up to 80 percent of any remaining recovered assets will be paid to UNUS SED LEO token holders,” said Bitfinex.


Priya is a freelance cryptocurrency writer at AMBCrypto. A student in business administration, Priya focuses on the latest developments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology space.
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