Bitcoins Stolen From Bitfinex Moved After Lying Dormant For Three Years
Bitcoins stolen from the Bitfinex crypto exchange have been moved on the blockchain, the activity being spotted after the BTC lay dormant for three years.
The coins were moved in a series of transactions that began at 06:00 UTC on Friday and comprised 172.54 bitcoins or nearly $1.37 million.
The movement of the bitcoins involved a wallet that held funds looted from Bitfinex in 2016 when hackers stole cryptocurrencies worth over $60 million. The hack and the subsequent theft are yet to be solved.
The transfers were noted by Twitter user Whale_Alert, who said that the transactions continued throughout Friday. According to the user, that last transaction at 19:47 UTC involved $137,514.
⚠ 17.03 #BTC (137,514 USD) of stolen funds transferred from Bitfinex Hack 2016 to unknown wallet
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) June 7, 2019
According to Hard Fork, the transfer of the stolen bitcoins was connected with the Leo token that Bitfinex launched recently. The publication notes that the token allows users to anonymously return any stolen funds.
But Anneka Dew, the exchange’s spokesperson denied the suggestion that Bitfinex had any role in the transactions.
“We are not involved, and the movement is not tied to the procedure outlined in the UNUS SED LEO white paper,” Dew emphasized.
Because bitcoin wallets are anonymous in nature, these transactions that happened yesterday provide the only evidence there is of the hackers’ activity since the theft three years ago.
Of course, blockchain sleuths can use these transactions to carry out a forensic analysis. However, this has often led the money being laundered through exchanges and crypto mixers to hide the ultimate destination of the stolen funds.
The hack and theft of bitcoins from Bitfinex in 2016 was the largest BTC heist to hit any cryptocurrency exchange since the infamous Mt. Gox hack.
In early 2014, the now-defunct exchange lost bitcoins worth over $350 million, with the victims of the hack yet to be fully compensated.
In February, the U.S. government retrieved and returned 27.66270285 bitcoins that had been stolen from Bitfinex.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.