In very surprising news, coins have started moving today that were stolen during a 2016 hack of Bitfinex. It just so happens that we are also seeing a decent dip in the price of BTC today (-6%, from close to $5,500 to a bit above $5,100). That said, at least as of yet, it doesn’t appear as if the two are related.
One of the Most Trustworthy Exchanges
A lot of exchanges have been hit with claims that they may be faking volume, but Bitfinex has done well at staying out of that spotlight. It’s cemented itself as one of the most trusted exchanges there are, and it has both high volume and liquidity to back it. When it was hacked in 2016, it went above and beyond what was expected at the time, giving everyone full refunds of the stolen coins – in contrast, a lot of previous hacks had the site owners either close down completely or reduce everyone’s balances to cover the cost of the missing funds. Despite having been hacked, this helps instill confidence in the site’s management, as it was shown that they could be relied upon to do everything in their power to make the users whole again.
The Movement of Stolen Funds
Ever since the hacks, most funds have stayed dormant in the original addresses they were sent to. The hack in May of 2015 resulted in a loss of around 1,500 BTC, while the second was over $72 million worth. It is worth noting that some funds were moved in January of 2017, as stated by an employee of Bitfinex, but nothing over the past two years. Considering the time frame of dormancy, many are speculating that it may result in them being moved for sale (either via exchanges or OTC), though that’s entirely speculative and there’s no way to know for certain what’s happening at this time. That said, the current dip appears to be completely unrelated.
The reason why this is such important knowledge is because it means the attacker still has access to the stolen funds – they can be moved and utilized at any moment. Along with this, it’s resulted in a large number of people starting a trace to try figuring out where the coins are and what they are actually being used for (along with who was behind the hack, as it can be assumed that whoever has access now is the same one that was behind the theft to begin with).
While this is fairly big news, it’s not something worth acting upon aside from being aware that it’s going on. Past that, without an actual movement into the market, it’s irrelevant to what we’re seeing now. To track down the addresses and follow what’s going on as it happens, this link has been given for the current movement and this is a listing of the attacker’s used addresses from one of Bitfinex’s employees, Chris Ellis.