U.S. Law Enforcement Recovers $120,000 in Stolen Bitcoin from Bitfinex

U.S. Law Enforcement Recovers $120,000 in Stolen Bitcoin from Bitfinex

In 2016, Bitfinex experienced a hack which shook the crypto world. 120,000 BTC was stolen in a heist which has been rivaled in scope only by Mt. Gox. Now, after over two years, U.S. law enforcement has retrieved a tiny portion of that stolen money.


Although it’s utterly rare, law enforcement has successfully retrieved $120,000 worth of stolen BTC in a hack which occured on Bitfinex in 2016. The news is exciting given that law enforcement may be on the cusp of developing new strategies to tracking down stolen funds, although the remaining 120,000 or so BTC stolen in 2016 is still at large.

2019 had its first hack in early January when Cryptopia experienced a significant breach which virtually shut down the exchange completely. Not just the security token space, but the cryptocurrency space as a whole is suffering from a lack of trust.

$120,000 of Hacked Funds Retrieved

According to the company’s Medium post, Bitfinex received 27.66 BTC from U.S law enforcement for a hack which occurred in August of 2016. That heist led to losses of around $72 million. Most of the losses were reimbursed, and Bitfinex has stepped up its security since then.

The responses, however, have been mixed.

Some users have mocked Bitfinex for celebrating the return of 0.02% of their stolen coins. Others praised law enforcement, but are skeptical that this so-called strategy can retrieve any more of the lost funds.

Bitfinex has said that the retrieved BTC will be distributed equally to the 5,000 customers affected by the initial heist. This means that each hacked account will receive something around $25 which seems laughably negligible.

Although Bitfinex wants this story to appear noteworthy, such a negligible amount retrieved means there’s little room for actual optimism here.

Do you think law enforcement will become more sophisticated in retrieving lost crypto funds? Does Bitfinex deserve to be mocked for this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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