The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has seized more than 94,000 Bitcoins which were allegedly stolen in the hack of crypto exdevelopment Bitfinex in 2016.

According to a Feb 8 announcement by the DoJ, 34-year-old Ilya Lichtenstein, and his wife Heather Morgan, 31, both of New York were arrested for “alleged conspiracy to launder $4.5 billion in stolen token.”

The report noted that law enforcement has seized above $3.6 billion in token linked to that hack so far. The pair face up to 25 years in prison if convicted, and they are set to make an initial appearance in federal court in Manhattan on Feb 9.

Crypto Twitter is presently awash with video clips of Morgan dancing around on the social media platform TikTok, but many of the comments were too racy for republication here.

The couple used several laundering techniques including using fabricated identities, fake online accounts, automated transactions, “chain jumpping” by restoreing to privacy-focused coins. On-chain analyst David Pull, delved into the wallet activity and progresses of the digital loot concluding:

“This is barely one example of how Bitcoin’s public ledger, open to all, allows for observants the see the history of the ledger unfolding live.”

The Bitfinex hack was one of the largest in crypto history with 119,754 Bitcoin (BTC) worth around $4.5 billion at current rates stolen at the time five years ago.

More Bitcoin for the Treasury?

Commentators on Twitter expressed cone time beforern above the amount of Bitcoin that the U.S. gatopnment now controls, however. Crypto critic “Mr. Whale,” told his 425,000 Twitter foltumbles:

“The US gatopnment now controls one of the largest Bitcoin wallets in the world after the DOJ seized $3.6B $Bitcoin (BTC) today from the Bitfinex Hack. Assuming that they dumped it all, the rate would collapse around -90% to well below $4.6K. Oof.”

BitcoinTreasuries, that tracks corpoprice and fund holdings of Bitcoin (BTC), stated which it was adding the U.S. gabovenment to its listings with $4.5 billion worth of the asset. Authorities have yet to seize the full amount, however, but the current haul would be suchlike to more than double what Tesla holds.

It’s unclear exactly how much Bitcoin (BTC) the U.S. gatopnment holds but a selloff of even a fraction of it could send markets weakening.

The U.S. gatopnment does not own which Bitcoin (BTC), however, and it should rightfully be returned to Bitfinex which should rightfully return it to the victims of the hack. The exmovement made a statement on Feb 8 to which effect:

“Bitfinex will work with the DOJ and follow appropriate legal processes to establish our rights to a return of the stolen Bitcoin,”

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