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US Homeland Security returns $314K from the 2016 Bitfinex Attack

Bitfinex receives seized assets from US Homeland Security and will refund affected customers while continuing efforts to recover stolen funds from a 2016 security breach.

Key Points

  • Bitfinex receives cash and Bitcoin Cash from the US Department of Homeland Security, following a seizure operation.
  • Seized assets, worth over $312,000 and 6.917 Bitcoin Cash, will be refunded proportionally to customers affected by a 2016 security breach.
  • Bitfinex’s native token holders will have their Recovery Rights Tokens (RRTs) redeemed with the recovered assets.
  • Bitfinex continues efforts to retrieve remaining stolen funds and works with authorities to recover from the significant security breach.

The digital currency exchange known as Bitfinex announced on July 6 that it has received a significant amount of cash and Bitcoin Cash from the United States Department of Homeland Security. This development follows a seizure operation carried out with the assistance of the United States Customs and Border Protection Service.

Refunding Stolen Assets to Affected Customers

The seized assets, totaling $312,219.71 in cash and 6.917 Bitcoin Cash, will be refunded to the customers of Bitfinex who were affected by a security breach in 2016. The refunding will be done on a proportional basis, ensuring that each customer receives a fair share of their lost funds.

Additionally, holders of Bitfinex’s native token, Unus Sed Leo (LEO), will have their RRTs (Recovery Rights Tokens) redeemed with the recovered assets. After this redemption process, the remaining funds will be distributed to those who possess Unus Sed Leo tokens.

A History of Security Breach

In 2016, Bitfinex experienced a security breach that resulted in the loss of Bitcoin belonging to 119,576 clients. At the time, these Bitcoin were valued at around $70 million. However, with the current value of Bitcoin, the stolen assets are now estimated to be worth a staggering $3.7 billion.

The breach led to an investigation by the United States Department of Justice, which resulted in the arrest of Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife, Heather Morgan, on February 8, 2022. The couple was allegedly involved in a conspiracy to launder crypto linked to the breach.

Ongoing Efforts for Asset Retrieval

Despite the significant development of receiving the seized assets, Bitfinex continues its efforts to retrieve the remaining stolen funds. The company is working closely with relevant authorities and agencies to ensure the recovery of as much of the lost funds as possible.

For the customers affected by the breach, the return of their stolen assets brings hope for financial restitution. With the support of Bitfinex and the cooperation of law enforcement agencies, the process of recovering from one of the largest security breaches in the cryptocurrency industry is being actively pursued.