Bitfinex Launches $400 Million Bounty Hunt for 2016 Hackers Who Stole $1.3 Billion in BTC

Lucas Cacioli  Aug 06, 2020 13:00  UTC 05:00

3 Min Read

Bitfinex has launched a 400 million dollar bounty hunt in search of the hackers responsible for the theft of nearly 120,000 Bitcoins from the global exchange in 2016.

Bitfinex is offering a 400 million dollar reward to anyone that can lead them to the hackers responsible for the theft of the 120,000 Bitcoins, now valued at over $1.3 billion. The global exchange is also offering a reward to the hackers themselves for the return of the stolen Bitcoin.

According to the Bitfinex blog on Aug 4, the hack that defrauded the exchange of 120,000 Bitcoins in 2016 is a “dark chapter” in the history of the exchange and the bounty reward is evidence of their determination to obtain the stolen Bitcoin. The reward of up to $400 million would equate roughly one-third of the Bitcoin’s value at the time of writing.

Aggregate Bitcoin Bounty Hunt

On August 2, 2016, hackers breached Bitfinex’s security systems. Subsequently, 2,072 unauthorized transactions (representing 119,755 BTC in aggregate) were broadcast on the Bitcoin network, resulting in the loss.

The Bitfinex Bitcoin bounty reward can be paid out to informants and hackers returning the stolen cryptocurrency in aggregate.

According to the blog post:

“Those who put Bitfinex in contact with the hacker will receive 5% of the total property recovered (or equivalent funds or assets at current market values), and the hackers will receive 25% of the total property recovered (or equivalent funds or assets at current market values). Any payments made to those connecting Bitfinex with the hackers and the hackers themselves will be classified as costs of recovery of the stolen property.”

Through the aggregate rewards recovery program, the total reward could be worth up to US$400 million at the current BTC price if all bitcoins were to be fully recovered.

“We will reward anyone with information that can put us in direct contact with those responsible for the 2016 security breach at Bitfinex,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Bitfinex. “The hackers will receive a share of the returned property.”

Twitter Hack Demonstrates Danger For Digital Assets

The official post also cited the recent Twitter hack as an example that hacks and cybercrime continue to be a threat for all cryptocurrency and digital asset businesses in the as well as wider technology sphere. No-one in our community can afford to be complacent about the ingenuity of criminal gangs to perpetuate new types of fraud.

“As the recent hack of Twitter demonstrates, the threat posed by maliferous hackers remains,” said Ardoino. “We urge all exchanges, investors, and stakeholders in the space to remain vigilant and to work together to counter the threat that hackers pose to the digital asset industry.”

Since the 2016 Bitfinex hack, the exchange has made security its number one priority and continued to work with law enforcement agents in investigating the security breach. In February 2019, US authorities recovered 27.66270285 bitcoins stolen in the 2016 hack, which were converted to US dollars and paid to RRT (Recovery Right Token) Holders.



Image source: Shutterstock

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