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Government Transfers $922 Million in Bitcoin from Seized Bitfinex Hack Funds

The U.S. government has recently made headlines for transferring a significant amount of Bitcoin (BTC) from wallets containing funds confiscated in the 2016 Bitfinex hack. This move has raised questions and sparked discussions about the government’s involvement in the cryptocurrency space.

According to Arkham Intelligence, a blockchain analytics firm, the U.S. authorities carried out these transactions on Feb. 28, transferring almost a billion dollars worth of Bitcoin in four separate transactions within a short span of time.


US government transfers $922m in Bitcoin from seized Bitfinex hack funds - 1
Source: Arkham Intelligence

The first wallet transferred 1 BTC valued at $60,200, followed by the government moving 2,817 BTC worth approximately $172.74 million to undisclosed addresses. Subsequently, from another wallet, the government transferred 0.01 BTC and 12,267 BTC, totaling around $748.46 million. This brought the total volume to approximately $922 million at the time of the transfers.

Arkham Intelligence reports that the U.S. government is considered one of the largest Bitcoin whales, holding over 200,000 BTC on its balance sheet, valued at $12.44 billion. Of this total, around 94,600 BTC are assets confiscated in relation to the Bitfinex platform hack, according to 21.co.


US government transfers $922m in Bitcoin from seized Bitfinex hack funds - 2

The Bitfinex hack that occurred in 2016 involved the theft of almost 120,000 BTC by hackers. In February 2019, U.S. authorities returned more than 27,000 BTC to the exchange, converted them into dollars, and distributed the funds to holders of RRT (Recovery Right Token) tokens.

The mastermind behind the attack, Ilya Lichtenstein, confessed to infiltrating Bitfinex’s security systems over an extended period. Reports indicate that Lichtenstein’s decision to target Bitfinex in 2016 stemmed from challenges he faced with his technology startup in San Francisco.

These recent developments have shed light on the intricate interplay between governments and the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The actions of the U.S. government in handling seized Bitcoin assets illustrate the evolving landscape of digital asset regulation and enforcement.

As the cryptocurrency market continues to mature, stakeholders are closely monitoring how governments worldwide navigate the complexities of cryptocurrencies, highlighting the need for regulatory clarity and cooperation between law enforcement agencies and industry participants.

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