94,643.29 stolen bitcoins worth billions of dollars spotted on the move
Whale Alert has posted numerous tweets alerting the crypto world to the mass movement of thousands of stolen bitcoins. So far, a recorded 94,643.29 bitcoins have been spotted being transferred from a blacklisted wallet to new accounts over a series of 23 transactions. The current estimated value of this number of bitcoins is US$3.54 billion; however, if they had been valued at Bitcoin’s all-time high price of US$68,789.63 (via CoinMarketCap) this would be an astonishing US$6.5 billion of hacked crypto currency on the move.
Bitfinex reimbursed investors who has been affected by the 2016 hack with BFX tokens and also offered an enormous reward for the recovery of the bitcoins in 2020 – 5% of the value was promised to anyone who set up contact with the hackers and 25% was offered to the hackers themselves if they returned the “total property”. The value of Bitcoin at that time (August 2020) meant these rewards were worth over US$400 million, while the 119,755 bitcoins were worth about US$70 million when they were stolen in August of 2016.
While it would be difficult for the hackers to launder the bitcoins, it’s not an impossible task thanks to software providers such as Hydra and Wasabi. With the news that these thousands of bitcoins are on the move, it could be an indication that the thieves are looking to cash out more of their ill-gotten gains after reportedly transferring US$700 million in a previous transaction in 2021. Bitcoin’s price has steadily dropped since its Nov ’21 highs and an influx of thousands of stolen bitcoins onto the market could spark a sell-off stampede that would result in further price declines.