US authorities have seized $3.6 billion worth of Bitfinex Bitcoins in investigations into hacking into cryptocurrency exchanges, the largest confiscation of funds in its history.
The cyber currencies were captured in an attack on the Bitfinex trading platform in 2016, prosecutor Lisa Monaco announced today.
It was the largest seizure of financial products in US history. The success shows that cryptocurrencies are not safe havens for criminals.
At the same time, the US federal police FBI arrested a couple. The pair are said to have attempted to launder the 120,000 bitcoins stolen from Bitfinex. At the time of the August 2016 attack, the digital coins were worth $71 million. According to the authorities, the price increase is now 4.5 billion dollars. In the past six years, bitcoin has gone from around $500 to around $43,000.
Last year, the US authorities had already managed to secure part of the multi-million dollar ransom paid by the pipeline operator Colonial after a hacking attack on its systems in cryptocurrencies.
The US Department of Justice said it has seized about $3.6 billion of bitcoin stolen during the 2016 hack of the Bitfinex exchange, the largest financial seizure ever.
And the Justice Department said in a statement that Elijah Lichtenstein and his wife, Heather Morgan, were arrested on Tuesday morning and are scheduled to appear in federal court in Manhattan in the afternoon, Bloomberg reported.
The duo – who was found to have owned popular social media accounts before their arrest – allegedly conspired to launder 119,754 bitcoins stolen after a hacker hacked into Bitfinex’s systems.
“Today’s arrest, and the administration’s largest-ever financial forfeiture, shows that cryptocurrency is not a safe haven for criminals,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement.
It added, “In a futile attempt to maintain digital anonymity, the two defendants laundered the stolen funds through a maze of cryptocurrency transactions.”
Bitfinex is the exchange affiliated with the world’s largest stable cryptocurrency, known as Tether.
The Department of Justice said that at the time of the hack, the total amount of stolen bitcoin was estimated to be around $71 million, adding that the total value of the bitcoin stolen now stands at around $4.5 billion.
Bitcoin above 44 thousand dollars ..
Cryptocurrency Bitcoin jumped to a four-week high on Tuesday, continuing its rally for a second straight session, with analysts attributing this in part to technical factors such as the settlement of some short positions that had pushed it into a three-month downtrend.
Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, recorded $44,356, its highest level since mid-January.
During the past 24 hours, the currency jumped by 3.4%, and the market value reached 840 billion dollars.
Since plunging to its weakest level in six months on January 24, Bitcoin has posted gains of about 35%.
Ether, the second largest digital currency, touched a three-week high of $3,170.
Ether achieved gains during the last 7 days by more than 15%, while it increased during the past 24 hours by 3.36%.
After rising 15% in a week, will Bitcoin continue to rise?
Bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies have witnessed a wide correction during the last period.
One expert stated that Bitcoin has seen a sharp rise of 15% over the past week, and Ethereum has risen more than 25%.
He continued, “Corrects on cryptocurrency prices are frequent, and there are always new highs…but the question is, will this stage be repeated like last year?”
The expert revealed that the acceptance of new companies and some governments to deal in bitcoin, indicates strong demand in the coming period.
As for the expectations of raising US interest rates, Al-Rifai said that the performance of US bonds indicates a 25-point hike next March, and as March approaches, we may see a change in the performance of these bonds.
He stated that “it is also possible that we will see a rate hike for the first time in more than 10 years by the European Central, especially since the British Central Bank raised interest rates by 25 points, and this is positive for the British economy, but the European Union may be late in raising the interest rate.”
The expert expected that the European Central Bank will raise interest rates once this year, and this will not be enough to calm markets and control high inflation.
He added that the Federal Reserve may raise the interest rate 3 or 4 times this year, more than the moves of other central banks, and this boosted the dollar’s performance during the recent period.
At the same time, Al-Rifai said that expectations are for a better performance of the Pound against the Euro due to the interest policies followed.
Bitfinex Bitcoins : US Judiciary Seizes $3.6 Billion
Founder of (Thinis.net). Freelance blogger and developer, following global affairs, and interested in everything new in the world of entertainment, economy, music, fashion and a little politics. I also love to travel and draw.