Bitcoins from 2016 Bitfinex Hack Mysteriously Begin Moving

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In Brief
  • $750+ million in bitcoin from 2016 Bitfinex hack on the move.

  • The hackers moved around 12,000 BTC in 30+ transactions.

  • They may be seeking to cash out at BTC all-time highs.

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The hackers behind the 2016 Bitfinex hack have moved over $750 million in stolen BTC. Market analysts believe the bad actors are trying to either cash out at a top or spook the market’s short position takers.

Crypto transaction tracker Whale Alert tweeted on April 14 that a large amount of Bitcoin linked to the 2016 Bitfinex hack is now on the move. The total sum amounts to over $750 million, though the figure could be larger.

Over 30 transactions took place, with roughly 11,799 BTC being shifted. The perpetrators had moved some BTC from the hack last year as well, but transactions have now been getting more active.

The development occurred as bitcoin reached new all-time highs just short of $65,000 yesterday. The hackers may be seeking to profit from the optimistic forecasts for the asset.

It also came just as Coinbase was listed on Nasdaq, which accounted for much of media coverage. This has contributed to Bitcoin’s rally, and any sales made now would drop the asset’s price. No sell trigger has been detected so far.

Analysts do not believe that the transactions will have an immediate impact on Bitcoin’s price. The total amount of BTC moved is only 10% of the total amount of BTC stolen. Most exchanges will have implemented measures to prevent cashing out, but the hackers still have other means to liquidate it.

This difficulty in extraction has led some to say the hacker may be trying to spark fear in the market to aid a short position. This would be an indirect way to take advantage, but within the realm of possibility.

Bitfinex hack continues to haunt the market

The 2016 Bitfinex hack was one of the largest in the market’s history. The incident sent shockwaves through the industry. 119,756 in BTC, worth over $7.5 billion at today’s rates, was stolen, sending the market crashing by over 20%.

The case saw a partial conclusion, with two Israeli brothers partially responsible for the attack. Since then, about 1–2% of the stolen BTC has moved occasionally — $97 million was moved in November 2020. This batch of transactions also occurred as Bitcoin was hitting new price highs.

Bitfinex compensated the customers with crypto, but the incident tarnished its reputation. The exchange has been involved in several other controversies, though Tether (USDT) continues to be the most popular stablecoin.


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Rahul Nambiampurath is an India-based Digital Marketer who got attracted to Bitcoin and the blockchain in 2014. Ever since, he's been an active member of the community. He has a Masters degree in Finance.

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