Ever since the Bitfinex exchange, was hacked in late 2016, people have been wondering what happened to the funds. Stealing US$70m worth of Bitcoin is one thing, but spending or converting it to fiat currency will be quite challenging. It appears a portion of the funds has been moved to a new account, although no one knows for sure what the end goal will be. At the same time, the company presenting this data wants to showcase their “Bitcoin transaction tracking” service is working just fine.
Bitfinex Funds Is On The Move
It has been a while since the Bitcoin community last heard from the person – or group – responsible for stealing $70m worth of bitcoin from the Bitfinex exchange. It appears a small portion of said funds is moving, as the “attacker” initiated a 153 BTC transfer. It is unclear where the money has been moved to, as that data was not provided to the rest of the world at this time.
Scorechain is the company who alerted the Bitcoin community to this transfer. This company specializes in analyzing Bitcoin transactions to create a trustworthy environment. Scorechain primarily focuses on compliance procedures, including AML and KYC. In a way, this is one of the many services looking to link bitcoin transactions with real identities. A powerful tool for crime fighting, although it remains to be seen how valid the data is.
— scorechain (@scorechain) January 26, 2017
According to a screenshot provided by the company on Twitter, the entity known as “Bitfinex attacker” has initiated this 137 Bitcoin transfer. At current prices, that means US$137,000 worth of cryptocurrency is on the move. Unfortunately, the company did not tell us where this money is headed. It is possible the attacker will look to convert this money to fiat currency in the coming days. Doing so, however, will be quite challenging, to say the least.
When one aims to exchange bitcoin for a national currency, there is no way to bypass identity verification procedures. Traditional exchanges require a passport scan and a utility bill. Using Bitcoin ATMs is limited to small amounts of cash per day, and usually involves having to scan one’s ID card as well. Even peer-to-peer Bitcoin sales will be difficult t to pursue, as finding a buyer willing to pay US$137,000 in cash is nearly impossible.
A more likely scenario is how these funds will be “laundered’ through one of the many Bitcoin mixing services available today. Although such a large-scale transfer requires a significant amount of trust on behalf of the attacker, it is the only plausible way to receive untainted bitcoins. Moreover, the question becomes which of the mixing services would be capable of accommodating such a large bitcoin transfer without having to delay the process by several days.
In the end, the bigger question remains if the data provided by Scorechain is valid. A complete list of Bitfinex-related transactions and addresses has been put together several months ago. Yet it remains unclear if this correlated with what Scorechain is telling us. The company did not provide specific details, other than showing his the “Bitfinex attacker” entity has a total of 2,072 addresses being monitored right now.
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