US Government recovers and returns stolen BTC to Bitfinex... but only 28 out of the 120,000 total.

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Back in August of 2016 Bitfinex fell victim to one of the worst hacks among the more 'mainstream' exchanges when the hackers got away with stealing a total of 120,000 BTC.

Today the US Government returned (almost) 28 of them (27.66 BTC) as the result of "law enforcement efforts". No additional details have been provided from US officials.

My best guess at what happened - they arrested someone who sold something to the actual hackers, but not the hackers themselves.

At it's peak the tokens would have been worth nearly $228 million.

Bitfinex has just shared the following press release:

Since the well documented hack in 2016, Bitfinex has collaborated with international law enforcement agencies to provide intelligence and assist with investigations. Bitfinex was alerted in November 2018 that the U.S. government had obtained bitcoins believed to be proceeds from the 2016 hack.

Bitfinex has now retrieved 27.7 BTC and, further to the recovery strategy outlined in the aftermath of the hack, this is being converted to USD and paid to RRT (Recovery Right Token) Holders.


RRTs and Bitfinex’s Hack Recovery Plan: Following the theft on August 2nd 2016, Bitfinex took a unique approach, generalising the losses across all accounts and crediting BFX tokens to customers at a ratio of 1 BFX to 1 dollar lost. Bitfinex honoured its commitment to repay the losses. Within eight months of the security breach, all BFX token holders had their tokens redeemed at 100 cents on the dollar or exchanged their tokens for, directly or indirectly, shares of the capital stock of iFinex Inc. All BFX tokens were destroyed within this process. Additionally, Bitfinex created a tradable Recovery Right Token (RRT) for BFX holders that converted BFX tokens into shares of iFinex.


The benefit to RRT holders is that in the event of any retrieval of the stolen property, and after any outstanding or unconverted BFX token holders have been reimbursed, recovered funds are distributed to RRT holders, up to 1 dollar per RRT. As all BFX tokens have been redeemed and destroyed, the full amount of recovered bitcoins today is being distributed pro rata to the RRT holders.


“Over two years following the hack of the Bitfinex platform, today we see the results of a clear and robust response strategy and the efforts of the U.S. government. It gives us great pleasure to be able to reimburse our traders that were loyal to us and believed in us at a very difficult time. We would like to thank U.S. federal law enforcement agencies for their ongoing efforts to investigate the security breach and their commitment to seizing and returning stolen assets.


We will continue to assist law enforcement with their inquiries, and also once again extend an open invitation to the hackers, or anyone harbouring information pertaining to the breach, to make contact in whichever medium they feel most secure with, to finally resolve the situation in a mutually beneficial manner.” says Bitfinex CFO Giancarlo Devasini


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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk


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