Bitfinex offers $400m reward for $1.3bn BTC hack information

Crypto exchange promises to even pay reward to the hackers if they come clean

On Tuesday, Bitfinex announced a reward of up to $400m (£306m, 339m) for any person that connects the crypto exchange with the hackers responsible for the theft of almost 120,000 Bitcoin in August 2016.

Referring to the incident as “a dark chapter” in the company’s history, Bitfinex stated that it was even “offering a reward to the hackers themselves for the return of the stolen property.”

The company offered to give 5 per cent of the total recovered property to anyone who connected it with the hacker or hackers. Its offer to those who actually stole the funds was even more generous, at 25 per cent of the total property recovered.

Bitfinex stated that any payments made to such parties would be classified as “costs of recovery of the stolen property.”

The 2016 hack is thought to have been possible due to failings with multi-signature wallets, which require the authorisation of multiple parties before a transaction can be completed. In the immediate aftermath of one of the largest acts of criminality in cryptocurrency history, the price of Bitcoin plunged by 20 per cent.

In recent weeks, a number of high-profile scams and frauds involving cryptos have been busted, with Chinese authorities arresting over 100 individuals involved in the PlusToken Ponzi scheme and the FBI in the US arresting the mastermind behind Twitter’s security breach last month.

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Alluding such incidents, Bitfinex observed: “This type of crime continues to be a threat for all businesses in the digital asset space and the 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.”

The offer of up to $400m may prove popular to almost anyone but the hackers, whose stolen booty of 119,755 BTC is worth over $1.3bn (£1bn, €1.1bn) at the time of writing. To discourage the thieves from experiencing any further pangs of conscience and desire to come forward, the company added:

“We have continued to work with law enforcement agents in investigating the 2016 security breach. In February 2019, U.S. authorities recovered 27.66270285 bitcoins stolen in the 2016 hack, which were converted to U.S. dollars and paid to RRT (Recovery Right Token) Holders.”

FURTHER READING: China arrests PlusToken primary suspects

FURTHER READING: Twitter hack mastermind revealed as 17-year-old Bitcoin millionaire

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