Part of the outflow of funds to be reimbursed to users
Crypto asset (virtual currency) exchange Bitfinex announced on the 6th that it received a partial return of assets stolen from the exchange in 2016 by the US Department of Homeland Security.
About 45 million yen (about $310,000) in cash and about 280,000 yen (6.917 BCH) in Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
These funds will be used to redeem Recovery Right Tokens (RRTs) issued by Bitfinex to users who have been victims of fraudulent exfiltration. RRT is a mechanism that can be exchanged for 1 dollar per token.
However, with 30 million RRTs currently in circulation, this funding is not enough to exchange for all RRT tokens. RRT holders will be redeemed according to their RRT holdings on July 6, 2023.
The assets were seized by DHS law enforcement agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Bitfinex Chief Technology Officer Paolo Aldoino commented:
The results show law enforcement efforts to exhaustively track the proceeds of a crime committed against Bitfinex almost seven years ago.
We want to recover as much of the stolen Bitcoin (BTC) as possible and distribute it to the holders of tokens issued by Bitfinex following the 2016 hack.
Bitfinex said it will continue to work with law enforcement to recover stolen assets from the exchange.
background of the incident
In August 2016, Bitfinex was hacked and about 120,000 BTC was leaked. At that time, 1 BTC = about 60,000 yen, equivalent to 7.2 billion yen, but the current price is about 500 billion yen.
Then, in February 2022, Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife were arrested by US authorities for attempting to launder funds related to illegal outflows from Bitfinex.
At this time, the US Department of Justice seized 94,000 BTC from the couple.
According to affidavits from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigators, the couple split the stolen bitcoins into thousands of transactions and sent them to more than a dozen accounts in their names and companies. It also used anonymous currency.
His wife, Heather Morgan, is currently out on bail, but the couple could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of money laundering and defrauding the US government.
connection: Bitfinex’s crypto asset hacking case, the suspect’s bail decision is divided
What is anonymous currency?
Anonymous cryptocurrencies such as Dash, Monero, and Zcash. Due to its nature, it is easy to be misused for money laundering, and it is regarded as a problem in each country.