Bitfinex hack recovery spurs crypto community responses

  • February 9, 2022

As the Bitfinex hack recovery ensued, crypto figures across social media shared their thoughts, raised questions, and expressed disbelief.

On Feb. 1, there were movements of around $2.5 billion from the 2016 Bitfinex hack wallets. After reviewing the transactions, Cointelegraph reported that around 90,000 Bitcoin (BTC), worth $3.6 billion, consolidated into one wallet address. More than a week later, the hackers were caught.

The United States Department of Justice seized $3.6 billion in crypto and arrested two suspects connected to the 2016 hack. Alleged hackers Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan were apprehended after federal authorities exercised their ability to “follow the money through the blockchain” according to the DoJ.

While some of the funds were partially recovered in 2019, the most recent recovery shocked the community, as many didn’t think it would be possible to retrieve the funds after five years. Following this, the crypto community responded with diverse sentiments. 

Emin Gün Sirer, founder of Ava Labs, thinks that Morgan, whose middle name is “Reyhan,” a common name in Turkey, may have a Turkish background, making her one of the richest Turks for some time. He also praised the authorities for recovering the funds.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao raised two questions related to the recovery of the funds. He tweeted, “Did Bitfinex lose or make money from the hack?” He added, “If they get the BTC back, how should they split that with LEO holders or the people who took a loss to accept LEO at the time of the hack, and then sold LEO?”

Related: ‘Comedic rapper’ charged over Bitfinex hack laundering out on bail

Crypto Banter host Ran Neuner may have an answer to this question. According to Neuner’s tweet, the hack may be the best trade ever made.

Jack Niewold, founder of Crypto Pragmatist, believes that this has enormous implications for BTC and LEO. “With selling methods like TWAP as well as OTC deals, it’s likely that it doesn’t affect the $BTC market too much, but $4 billion is a decent chunk,” he wrote.

Crypto entrepreneur Anthony Pompliano simply expressed his disbelief over who the perpetrators were: