The number of long-inactive bitcoins that were hijacked in 2016 by the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange are on the move today, an amount in excess of $ 620 million that has been intimidated by some market participants that could contribute to the downfall of Bitcoin.
Blockchain bot Whale Alerts was the first to raise the alarm, pointing to a series of more than fifteen wallet transactions that have been largely inactive since the 2016 hack:
The largest transaction was 1,241,3672 BTC, with a value over $ 78 million (the hacker paid 0.00072910 BTC, or about $ 45), although the other transactions were only 1.5 BTC. Cointelegraph counted a total of 63 transactions, which resulted in a transfer of just over 10,050 BTC, with a value in excess of $ 620 million.
Although the hacker did not always transfer their coins between wallets, today the transfers constitute the largest hacked Bitcoin transactions since the attack. Over the years, hackers moved between 1% and 2% of their coins, and today they moved 8.3% of nearly 120,000 BTC with a value in excess of $ 7.4 billion.
2016 Bitfinex Hack Summary for June 2020. Source: Crystal.
It is difficult to establish the purpose of the transactions. Some transfers were made between wallets that were known to be linked to the hacker, although many were linked to newly created wallets. Many observers note that it is almost impossible for a hacker to sell BTC, as none of the major exchanges accept infected currencies. The hacker attempted to sell 736 BTC in 2020 through the Russian Darknet Market, where some of them ended up, ironically, on Bitfinex again.
The hacker’s inability to sell their coins has led some traders on Twitter to speculate that the tipping point will simply scare the market, perhaps along with a short position:
The search for the hacker continued when Bitfinex offered up to $ 400 million in bonuses last August for information about the attacker. The case appears to have seen a breakthrough in 2019, when two Israeli brothers were accused of being involved in the attack, but police have brought back a wallet containing much less of the approximately 120,000 BTC lost in the hack.
The whale break at Bitfinex is exacerbating an already turbulent day for the markets. After rising to over $ 425 a share, Coinbase is struggling to find a price level of $ 350 per share. Although the share price was still well above $ 250 a share, traders interpreted the deal as a negative sign as Bitcoin’s price fell to $ 61,000.