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US Government Transfers $922M in Seized Bitcoin from Bitfinex Hack

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently transferred over $922 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) seized from the infamous 2016 Bitfinex hack.

The move, which occurred in February 2023, involved four separate transactions of varying amounts, totaling 15,085 BTC. This development has raised some discussions about the government’s handling of seized crypto assets and the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency regulation.

The Bitfinex hack, which took place in August 2016, resulted in the theft of nearly 120,000 BTC, valued at approximately $75 million at the time.

Over the years, Bitcoin’s price has surged significantly, pushing the stolen cryptocurrency’s current market value to over $7.5 billion.

The DOJ successfully recovered a portion of the stolen funds in 2021, leading to the recent transfer.

The Bitfinex hack was one of the largest and most notorious cyberattacks in the history of crypto, resulting in the theft of almost 120,000 BTC, worth about $72 million at the time.

The hackers managed to breach the security systems of Bitfinex, a leading crypto exchange and siphoned off the funds from its hot wallets.

Later on, the hack caused a massive drop in the price of Bitcoin and shook the confidence of the crypto community.

The US authorities later tracked down and arrested two of the alleged perpetrators of the Bitfinex hack, Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, also known as Razzlekhan.

The duo pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy, computer fraud, and money laundering, and agreed to forfeit the stolen Bitcoin to the government.

The motive or purpose of the transfers is not clear, as the US government did not issue any official statement or comment on the matter.

Some speculate that the government may be planning to sell or auction off the Bitcoin, as it has done in the past with other seized crypto assets, such as those from Silk Road or Mt. Gox.

The US government is considered to be one of the largest Bitcoin whales, holding over 200,000 BTC on its balance sheet, worth about $12.44 billion.

The recent transfers indicate that the government may be preparing to make some major moves with its Bitcoin holdings, which could have significant implications for the crypto space and the future of web3.

Victor Chijoke

Passionate about blockchain, and the decentralized internet. A writer in the morning, goalie in the evening. The aim is to keep my readers informed about the ever-evolving world of web3 with a unique blend of expertise and storytelling.

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