• Bitfinex lost 119,756 bitcoins in August 2016 hack.
  • The hackers set out to wash and move the stolen tokens multiple times.
  • In 2022, the US Department of Homeland Security arrested two people for allegedly hacking Bitfinex.

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has revealed that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has returned some of the funds stolen from the exchange following a hack that occurred in August 2016. The US Department of Homeland Security stole funds after arresting two suspected hackers.

The funds returned by the US Department of Homeland Security included $312,219.71 in cash and $6.917 in Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Hacking Bitfinex 2016

The hack was one of the largest in the cryptocurrency industry at the time. Due to a security flaw, the exchange lost about 119,756 Bitcoins (BTC), worth $71.8 million at the time. Converted to current market prices, the stolen BTC is worth over 3 billion.

Bitfinex hackers then set out to launder the stolen cryptocurrencies.

However, two of the perpetrators identified as a couple were arrested by US authorities in February 2022 and charged with conspiracy to launder money. The arrest resulted in the recovery of $3.6 billion worth of stolen cryptocurrencies, making the US government the wealthiest BTC wallet in the world.

Distribution of collected funds

Bitfinex Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino confirmed that some of the stolen funds have been recovered, stating:

“We look forward to recovering as much of the stolen Bitcoin as possible and redistributing it to token holders issued in response to the 2016 hack.”

Victims of the Bitfinex hack received Recovery Rights Tokens (RTTs), which acted as promissory notes. RTT may be exchanged for cash or iFinex equity shares in the future. With a total of 30 million RRTs in circulation, the cryptocurrency exchange says the funds collected so far will not be enough to cover all redemptions.

By Jules

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