On August 2, 2016, hackers targeted the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and successfully stole 119,756 BTC from its coffers. At the time, the going exchange rate for Bitcoin was approximately $600 per unit.
Currently, the stolen funds are worth upward of $1 billion based on today’s exchange rates. The security breach had weakened trader confidence, and the price per BTC dropped nearly 20% that day.
The hackers moved the stolen funds into a cryptocurrency address that any individual may follow using blockchain explorers. Notably, the Bitcoins remained dormant for three years and didn’t shift until June and August 2019.
On May 21, 2020, 30 BTC from the Bitfinex hacker’s move on August 12, 2019, had been moved once more to a different unknown address. The transferred coins on Thursday saw about 30.66754180 BTC or $280,000 transferred, and back then, they would merely be worth $18,000.
It is ordinary for hackers to transfer coins into tinier increments, and they might not have been sold on the market.
This technique can be observed since the 30 coins that were moved on Thursday originated from the 300 BTC ($2.7 million) transfer that was carried out in 10 individual transactions.
Moreover, hackers typically transfer stolen funds when prices are greater than normal. Hackers will usually get creative with their techniques since they know that blockchain analyst companies and law enforcement investigators typically have illicit cryptocurrency addresses flagged. This would make it increasingly difficult for the Bitfinex hackers to shift a stash of 119,756 BTC without being spotted.
Hackers have many ways to launder their stolen BTC, such as deploying the CoinJoin method and mixing the coins.