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  • Writer's pictureDavid Manion

Bitfinex recovers assets stolen in 2016 Bitcoin hack.


Bitfinex recovers assets stolen in 2016 Bitcoin hack.
Bitfinex recovers assets stolen in 2016 Bitcoin hack.

Crypto Exchange Bitfinex has announced that it has recovered some of the stolen assets from the 2016 Bitcoin hack but stated that a considerable number of assets are still yet to be recovered.

The exchange stated in a press release that it had received the assets in question from the United States Department of Homeland Security.


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Bitfinex recovers assets stolen in 2016 Bitcoin hack. Tip Of The Iceberg

Bitfinex exchange announced that it has successfully recovered $312,219 in cash and 6.9 Bitcoin Cash (BCH), valued at approximately $1951 at current market prices. The stolen assets were taken during a hack in 2016 and have been returned by the United States Department of Homeland Security. The US authorities took control of the funds in 2022 after arresting two individuals involved in the Bitfinex hack. The exchange has been collaborating with the authorities to retrieve the stolen assets and return them to their rightful owners. Bitfinex recovers assets stolen in 2016 Bitcoin hack.


Bitfinex has announced that the US government is making progress in prosecuting those involved in the 2016 breach. The United States Customs and Border Protection agency has seized the recovered assets. Paolo Ardoino, Bitfinex's Chief Technology Officer, expressed gratitude to the authorities, stating that the seizure demonstrates law enforcement officials' commitment to tracking all proceeds of the crime. Bitfinex hopes to recover as much of the stolen bitcoin as possible and redistribute it to holders of the tokens issued in response to the hack.


The Bitfinex Hack

In 2016, Bitfinex experienced a major security breach resulting in the theft of approximately 119,756 Bitcoin (BTC) worth $71.8 million at the time. The stolen cryptocurrency was moved around by the hackers in an attempt to launder the funds. However, US authorities were able to track the assets and apprehend the culprits, Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, a married couple from New York. Both were charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, and most of the stolen funds, which are now valued at $3.6 billion, were seized. Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco made a statement regarding the successful operation.

“Today’s arrests, and the department’s largest financial seizure ever, show that cryptocurrency is not a safe haven for criminals. In a futile effort to maintain digital anonymity, the defendants laundered stolen funds through a labyrinth of cryptocurrency transactions; thanks to the meticulous work of law enforcement, the department once again showed how it can and will follow the money, no matter what form it takes.”

Bitfinex had issued a statement as well, expressing gratitude for the recovery, adding,

“We’re pleased that the DOJ has recovered a significant portion of the bitcoin stolen during the 2016 hack. We have been cooperating extensively with DOJ since its investigation of this incident began.”

Redemption Of Stolen Assets

Bitfinex has expressed its intention to recover as much of the stolen assets as possible and redistribute them to holders of the Recovery Right Tokens (RRt) issued after the hack. These tokens were meant to act as an IOU, and holders could exchange them for cash or iFinex capital stock at a later date. At present, around 30 million RRT tokens are in circulation, which is insufficient to redeem all RRT tokens.


According to Bitfinex's contractual obligations, RRT token holders were to be redeemed at $1, and up to 80% of any recovered assets were to be paid to SED, UNUS, and LEO token holders. Bitfinex has announced that RRT token holders will have their tokens redeemed pro rata today, based on the size of their RRT holdings, on the 6th of July, 2023.


Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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