In 2016 Bitfinex was hacked for $72 million of Bitcoin (BTC), and ever since then the hackers have been HODLING, leading to massive profits. Now the stolen Bitcoin (BTC) is worth $1.3 billion. The only problem is that the hackers are having an extremely hard time cashing out the Bitcoin (BTC), since whenever they move even a single satoshi, it can be a life and death decision that could bring police to their door.
In total 119,756 Bitcoins (BTC) were stolen, which is one of the largest Bitcoin (BTC) hacks in history, but only 1-2% of these funds have been moved since the day of the hack.
The hackers aren’t HODLING out of choice, if they could have cashed out all of the Bitcoin (BTC) back in 2016 they would have. Rather, the hackers practically have no options to cash out, since every time they move the stolen Bitcoins (BTC) they could get busted via blockchain forensics. Even worse, if they try to sell the Bitcoins (BTC), they could easily be exposed, whether they use an exchange or do an in-person deal.
This is especially true since Bitfinex has invested a lot of resources into catching these hackers.
Simultaneously, now that the stolen Bitcoins (BTC) have grown to a value of $1.3 billion, the hackers probably have a tremendous urge to cash them out and be rich for life. That’s probably why $38.7 million of the hacked Bitcoins (BTC) were just moved in the past day.
However, there is a fine line between cashing out these stolen Bitcoins (BTC) and making millions of dollars, and ending up in prison for life, and all it takes is one mistake. Therefore, it seems to be only a matter of time before these hackers are caught, and Bitfinex gets its coins back.
Let this be a lesson to other hackers. It may be possible to steal lots of Bitcoins (BTC) from an exchange, but in the end a hacker may just be left staring at their Bitcoin (BTC) balance since it’s extremely difficult to cash any of it out without black helicopters swooping in.