Digital currency exchange Bitfinex recently announced that it’s giving out up to $400 million in reward if any individual can connect them to the hacker that stole 119,755 BTC (roughly 1.344 billion today at press time) from the platform four years ago. The exchange is offering any individual that can put them in touch with the hacker 5% of the total property recovered and is offering the hacker 25% of the recovered property.
The announcement came four years after the hack took place on August 2, 2016. That said, it seems like it is a little late to try and track down an individual who committed a crime four years ago. However, the digital currency exchange has been actively trying to locate and identify the hacker since the breach took place, and in February 2019, U.S. authorities recovered 27.66270285 BTC stolen in the hack.
Why look for the stolen BTC now?
The money from that 2016 hack has been continually moving out of the hacker’s wallet since June 2019. Just last week, more than $20 million from the 2016 Bitfinex hack was reportedly transferred to an ‘unknown wallet.’
Sending the stolen funds to an unknown wallet address is easy, the hackers will have a much harder time when it comes to liquidating their stolen funds. Especially now that nearly every reputable digital currency market place uses blockchain analytic software that alerts them of suspicious transactions taking place, or when funds are sent to them from a marked address, like those that are involved in digital currency hacks and scams.
Will the reward money do the trick?
The Bitfinex announcement seems like a desperate attempt/last-ditch effort to catch the hacker. It looks like the firm is hoping that the large sum of reward money will be enough for any individual with knowledge of the matter to give Bitfinex all of the information they know. Only time will tell if this will be enough of an incentive for an individual to tell Bitfinex what they know, or even for the hacker to turn themselves in. However, if you think you can help Bitfinex locate and identify the hacker, you are encouraged to get in contact with Bitfinex at @bitfinex2016 via keybase.
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