KEY POINTS

  • $51 million worth of Bitcoins stolen from Bitfinex in 2016 was moved in the last 10 days.
  • The blockchain allowed trackers to monitor the movement of the stolen funds
  • Only 2% of the funds were moved by the hackers, possibly due to increased KYC and AML requirements in exchanges

A portion of the funds stolen from crypto exchange Bitfinex in 2016 has been transferred to unknown wallets in the past week, transactions on the blockchain revealed.

Tracked by blockchain tracker Whale Alert, 620 BTC worth $7 million have been moved on Aug. 2, facilitated through four transactions. One of the transactions transferred 308.43 BTC worth $3.4 million.

On July 30, another 448 BTC was moved by the hackers worth $4.9 million at that time.

While there were only two transactions worth $5.3 million on July 29, there were eight transactions on July 28 which saw the movement of around 2,077 BTC, now worth $23.5 million to unknown wallets. Whale Alert also tracked two transactions on July 25 worth $5.06 million.

In total, over $51 million worth of stolen Bitcoins from the Bitfinex hack was transferred in the last 10 days, Cointelegraph reported.

The blockchain’s transparency allowed any person to track any fund movement, making it easy for trackers like Whale Alert to monitor the movement of the 119,756 BTC stolen from the crypto exchange on Aug. 2, 2016. What was worth $72 million in 2016 is now worth $1.3 billion. 

The movement of the stolen funds from Bitfinex has increased this year, with the earliest one reported on May 22. In June, around 420 BTC was moved in batches of 15 BTC to 300 BTC, now worth $4.7 million. 

Still, four years after the hacking incident, only around 2% of the stolen funds have been moved, according to Cointelegraph. New crypto regulations, such as stricter anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) requirements, would make the hackers hesitate before moving the stolen funds to regulated exchanges. 

US authorities arrested three men in an alleged fraud that raised $722 million from investors lured by fake bitcoin mining earnings Blockchain technology, invented to power cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, has more impactful use in other segments including bankings, experts say. Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GEORGE FREY

Through the help of U.S. law enforcement, 27 BTC stolen from the hack was returned to Bitfinex in February 2019. In July 2019, authorities in Israel arrested two brothers for their involvement in the Bitfinex hack and other crypto-related crimes.