Another Bitcoin Scam Resolved- US Federals Seized $3.6 Billion from 2016 Hack!

bitcoin scam

US Federals have cracked a way to resolve cryptocurrency-related scams efficiently. Mt. Gox and Bitifnex digital currency exchange appear first in context to cryptocurrency scams. Mt. Gox, a cryptocurrency exchange, went offline in 2014; on the other hand, Bitifnex was hacked in 2016 by a hacking cartel. 

In this bitcoin scam, many investors lost their savings and cryptocurrency scams. You can check here can Bitcoin make you lose money . Recently US Officials recovered almost $3.6 billion subject to the bitifnex cryptocurrency hack. In addition, the Federal police executed the arrest of two hackers in New York who are directly linked to this case. Here is everything you should know about the bitifnex cryptocurrency hack and how the US officials came to know about it. 

How Many Bitcoins were stolen?

Bitfinex appeared on the list of popular cryptocurrency exchanges. Unfortunately, the exchange was attacked by hackers two times in two years. In 2016, the hacking cartel stole nearly 120,000 BTC. These BTC were merely worth $60 million at that time. 

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The worth of these BTCs today is nearly $4.5 billion. The US officials could not recover every BTC this hacking group stole, but they nearly recovered 85 of the cryptocurrency assets. Even after arresting these two hackers, there were not able to prove that these two were the only individual who stole these BTCs. 

Immediately after the bitcoin hack, hackers transferred stolen BTCs to Lichtenstein wallet. In a period, they merely withdrew 20% of the BTC, and the rest were present in the BTC wallet. 

How Much BTC did the US Official Recover?

As discussed above, the total worth of bitcoin stolen by hackers at this time is $4.5 billion, but the officials were able to seize only BTC worth $3.6 billion. In short, the US officials could seize nearly 95000 BTC out of the 120,000 BTC stolen by the hackers. 

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How did US Official Execute this Operation?

After the execution of the hack, the official authorities released a search warrant for the virtual accounts managed by these two individuals. Additionally, specific agents were hired by authorities to access the documents related to cryptocurrency wallets. 

These documents had all the crucial data required to access the cryptocurrency wallet of an individual. Private keys and cryptocurrency wallet addresses were present in this document. The special agents discovered that Lichtenstein’s virtual coins wallet had 95,000 BTCs, and the entire amount was stolen from the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange. 

Did the Criminals try to Launder this Money?

You might wonder what happened to the remaining cryptocurrencies that the US officials seized. The hackers performed several techniques to launder this illicit money. One of the prominent tactics was splitting the money into smaller fragments and transferring it to multiple cryptocurrency wallets. 

How did US Federal Recover This Money if Bitcoin is Anonymous?

There is a massive misconception amongst the people that bitcoin is completely anonymous. Only privacy-focused cryptocurrencies are completely anonymous as they are equipped with stealth address technology. Bitcoin falls under the category of pseudonymous cryptocurrency projects. Bitcoin is not anonymous because of an open-sourced blockchain and a public address. 

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Even if the public address does not state anything about an individual’s public identity, the public ledger makes every transaction public. US federals monitored the blockchain for a long time and noticed the cryptocurrency wallets receiving massive funds at once. 

When US federals learned about Lichtenstein’s wallet address, they acquired information from the officials required to access it. When the special agents attained private keys to access their wallets, they legally seized the entire amount present in that cryptocurrency wallet. It is how US officials executed this entire operation. 

Hackers are nowadays adopting stealth address technology. Stealth address technology makes it difficult for others to track any transactions. Moreover, as stealth addresses do not allow you to repeat transactions with a given wallet address, it provides a fresh one for every exchange. 

The above-listed portion explains how the US officials resolved this cryptocurrency scam.

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