According to the reports by Whale alert, large amounts of BTC, which were stolen during the 2016 Bitfinex hack, started moving to an unknown wallet. The hackers carried out the first transaction on (Tue, 01 Feb 2022 04:14:24 UTC). Initially, they moved 1 BTC to the anonymous wallet. As of now, 26 transactions have been carried out on the anonymous wallet. The wallet holds 94643.29 BTC at the time of writing.
Whale alerts is a transparent platform for tracking and analyzing millions of transactions every day. They reported the incident on Twitter, providing the details of the move.
History of the 2016 Bitfinex BTC hack
In August 2016, almost 120,000 bitcoins – now worth roughly $4.6 billion – were stolen from the famous crypto exchange Bitfinex. The hackers may have felt that the challenging portion of their crime was over. However, barely 21 percent of the stolen bitcoins have been transferred after five years, and just 4 percent have been laundered or swapped.
The 119,756 bitcoins stolen from Bitfinex were first transmitted to a single wallet, and 79 percent of them remain there to this day. After a rush of transactions in early 2017, there were very few outflows from the wallet until 2020, when there was a significant rise in activity. In April 2021, 12,241 BTC of the stolen assets were relocated, having a value at the time of $774 million. This rise was presumably spurred by the surging Bitcoin price, which rose more than 700 percent during the prior year.
Elliptic said the hackers laundered the money through darknet markets like Hydra and privacy-focused Wasabi wallet. These marketplaces provide cash-out services with drugs, hacking equipment, and bogus IDs. These allow Bitcoin to be exchanged into gift cards, prepaid debit cards, or actual cash. Software wallets like Wasabi assist in avoiding blockchain tracing, employing a kind of transaction known as a “coinjoin”. It is estimated that over 13 percent of the profits of crime in bitcoin are laundered using private wallets.
The inability of the hackers to move the fund tells a story about the crypto industry’s maturation and how law enforcement capabilities, regulation, and blockchain analytics have combined to make crypto crimes extremely difficult. But to date, they were unable to trace back to the hackers who committed this monstrous loot.