$1 Billion in Bitfinex Hack Funds Moved by US Authorities

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  • Nearly $1 billion in bitcoin seized by US authorities from the Bitfinex hack has been moved to undisclosed addresses
  • The purpose of the move remains unknown, sparking speculation about a potential auction or transfer to a more secure wallet
  • The story of the 2016 Bitfinex hack, which involved Heather “Razzlekhan” Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein, is set to be adapted into an Amazon movie.

US authorities have moved nearly $1 billion in bitcoin seized in connection with the Bitfinex hack to undisclosed addresses. The nature of the move is unknown, with the anticipated auction likely being years down the line, leading to suggestions that the move could be the government moving them to a more secure wallet. The Bitfinex hack, which was carried out by Heather “Razzlekhan” Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein in 2016, is being turned into an Amazon movie following the attention on Morgan’s alter ego after her involvement was revealed.

Purpose Unclear

The first wallet, identified by blockchain-data firm Arkham Intelligence as holding seized Bitfinex hacker funds, initiated transfers totaling around $173 million worth of bitcoin on February 28. Shortly thereafter, another wallet, containing approximately $750 million worth of bitcoin, conducted similar transfers, bringing the total value transferred to approximately $923 million.

The motive behind these transfers remains unclear, and the US Department of Justice declined to comment on their purpose, although it has been confirmed that they were conducted as part of legitimate law enforcement activities rather than an audacious theft. Authorities may be mindful of the instance in 2022 when bitcoins protected by a Trezor wallet seized by police began to leak out of the address tied to it while the wallet was still in police custody.

This mystery was solved when it was realized that the brother of the arrested man had the private key to the wallet and had rigged up a new wallet and began stealing the funds from under the nose of the authorities.

Lichtenstein and Morgan Awaiting Sentencing

Bitcoins seized through actions of law enforcement are typically auctioned off, but these auctions only take place once the case in which they feature has been completed. Lichtenstein pleaded guilty to carrying out the hack and laundering the funds in August last year, with Morgan also pleading guilty to the latter.

The pair are awaiting sentencing.