Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex is offering a US$400 million [AUS$557 million] reward for the return of almost 120,000 stolen bitcoins.
The exchange was hacked in August 2016 when a total of 119,755 bitcoins were stolen. Overall, 2,072 cryptocurrency transactions were conducted to steal a vast amount of BTC.
Massive reward from Bitfinex
The cryptocurrency exchange is looking to put the hack fully in the past and recover the stolen bitcoins. At the current market value, the stolen BTC is worth a staggering US$1.344 billion [AUS$1.87 billion]. This price reflects the total amount of bitcoins stolen minus the 27.66270285 BTC that was recovered in February 2019 by U.S. authorities.70285
Bitfinex is offering a reward of up to 30% for the return of the stolen bitcoins. The breakdown of the reward is as follows. The person who puts the crypto exchange in contact with the hacker(s) will get a five percent reward of the total property recovered.
By contrast, the hacker(s) will get a full 25% reward of the total property recovered. As the stolen bitcoins are worth US$1.344 billion [AUS$1.87 billion], that means the total reward if all the BTC is returned will amount to an eye-watering US$403,288,427 [AUS$561,632,368].
Bitfinex notes that any reward payments made to the hacker(s) and any person linking the exchange to the criminals will be classified as “costs of recovery of the stolen property.”
The exchange will require the hacker(s) to send 1 Satoshi from the wallet address associated with the hack to a wallet address specified by Bitfinex. This action will be undertaken to confirm the identity of the hacker(s) so that the reward is given for the recovery of the actual stolen bitcoins.
Hard lessons learned
The cryptocurrency exchange says that lessons were learned from the hack back in August 2016. Bitfinex states that the security of the platform is now the “overriding, number one” priority of the exchange.
The exchange also notes that its continued success is due to a loyal customer base. After the hack occurred, the exchange gave out BFX tokens to those account holders who had lost Bitcoin. For every US$1 [AUS$1.39] in BTC that was lost, the account holder received 1 BFX. The tokens were initially traded for US0.20 [AUS$0.28] but eventually increased to almost US$1 in value.
Over 52 million BFX tokens were converted into shares of iFinex Inc., and the last BFX token was redeemed in early April 2017.