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US Government Wallets Transfer Nearly $1B in Bitcoin Seized From Bitfinex Hack

The US government seems to have transferred close to $1b in Bitcoin late Wednesday from two wallets linked to the 2016 Bitfinex hack, data from Arkham Intelligence showed.

Initially, one wallet sent out 1 Bitcoin, followed by a subsequent transfer of 2,817 Bitcoin. Then, a second wallet transferred 0.01 Bitcoin, followed by another transfer of 12,267 Bitcoin. The combined transfers totaled about $923m, as per Arkham’s recorded outflows.

It is currently unclear why the government wallets made the transfers. The Department of Justice didn’t return Cryptonews’ request for comment by press time.

However, the transfers coincide with heightened activity in the crypto market, propelling Bitcoin to above $60,000 on Wednesday. This surge comes amid anticipation surrounding Bitcoin price forecasts, particularly with the impending halving event that could have a substantial impact on market dynamics.

Through seizures linked to criminal activities, the US government has amassed around 200,000 Bitcoins, valued at roughly $5b, making it one of the largest holders of Bitcoin.

95,000 Bitcoin Seized from 2016 Bitfinex Hack

Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein and his wife Heather Rhiannon Morgan, the individuals behind the 2016 Bitfinex hack, were arrested in 2022. Subsequently, the Justice Department announced its most significant financial seizure to date, amounting to about 95,000 Bitcoins.

The couple purportedly used false identities to establish online accounts. They also allegedly obfuscated the transaction trail by moving funds through multiple platforms, including crypto exchanges and darknet markets.

Moreover, Lichtenstein confessed to buying mushrooms and LSD from darknet markets. He clarified that he remained drug-free while carrying out the hacks.

Lichtenstein-Morgan Story Inspires Film

According to court documents, the US government accused Lichtenstein and Morgan of conspiring to launder $4.5b in stolen Bitcoin. Of this amount, $3.6b was seized, constituting the largest financial seizure ever recorded. Later, an extra $475m associated with the hack was confiscated.

Widespread interest in the couple’s story has led Amazon’s MGM Studios to reportedly begin the early stages of developing a film based on their exploits.

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