A small percentage of the bitcoins stolen from prominent cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex back in 2016 have recently started to move, and the exchange claims it isn’t involved with these mysterious transactions.
The movements were first spotted by the Whale Alert Twitter account, which essentially tweets whenever a large cryptocurrency transaction is made. It revealed that through five transactions, 172.54 BTC (worth around $1.37 million) went from the Bitfinex hack wallet to an unknown address.
⚠ 80.93787872 #BTC (640,002 USD) of stolen funds transferred from Bitfinex Hack 2016 to unknown wallet
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) June 7, 2019
Speaking to The Next Web, Bitfinex’s marketing director Anneka Dew revealed the cryptocurrency had nothing to do with these transactions, that started at around 7 am UTC today, June 7.
In 2016, Bitfinex suffered a massive security breach that saw hackers successfully steal nearly 120,000 BTC, then worth over $66 million. These transactions notably make up a very small amount of the stolen funds, and could indicate the hackers are testing ways to withdraw their funds.
On social media, some users noted that the cryptocurrency’s recent LEO token initial exchange offering (IEO) appears to give the hacker a chance to return the funds, while keeping a specific percentage “as a reward for collaborating in finally resolving this issue.”
— Gabriel (@gab_francesch) June 7, 2019
Speaking to The Next Web, however, Dew confirmed that Bitfinex wasn’t involved with the movements, and that they weren’t “tied to the procedure outlined in the UNUS SED LEO white paper.”
It’s worth noting that in November of last year, U.S. authorities managed to retrieve a small percentage of the bitcoins stolen from the cryptocurrency exchange in 2016. At the time, Bitfinex confirmed it received 22.66 BTC back, although the majority of the stolen funds are still missing.