Stolen Bitcoin from 2016, Worth over $4.9 Billion Back In Circulation

Varuni Trivedi
Updated: Feb 1, 2022, 13:41 UTC

Part of 130,000 stolen Bitcoin from a 2016 Bitfinex hack recently transferred to an anonymous wallet, here’s how it can impact prices.

FXempire, BTC, Crypto, Bitcoin,

Hacked or lost Bitcoin are usually considered out of circulation, however, recently the BTC circulation saw a major pump as a large part of 130,000 stolen BTC was transferred to unknown wallets.

Various transactions were made to anonymous wallets on February 1, transferring parts of the stolen coins from a 2016 Bitfinex hack. 

Stolen Bitcoin Found

In a series of Tweets from Whale Alert it was known that the transfers started off with fewer amounts, with the first transfer worth one BTC (equivalent to $38,750) of stolen funds transferred at 4:30 am UTC on Tuesday. The next transfer of 10,000 BTC equivalent to $383,540,711 was sent soon after that to an unknown wallet. 

Approximately $5 billion worth of Bitcoin was stolen back in 2016 in a Bitfinex hack which has been sent to unknown wallets over the last few hours. Until now, as per the data released, close to 55,000 of the stolen BTC has been moved across the anonymous wallets. The last amount moved was a relatively smaller 0.298371 BTC worth $ 11,377 of stolen funds. 

— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) February 1, 2022

Notably, over $2 billion worth of the stolen funds have been transferred till now. The transfers were all made within a span of a couple of hours in the early hours of February 1. That said, it hasn’t yet been determined if the wallet is owned by some exchange or an OTC desk but the wallet has been active since 2016.

Can This Affect the Market?

Large inflows to exchange wallets are often considered a bearish sign, for now however it wasn’t clear if the unknown wallets were in fact exchange wallets.

Notably, the alerts attracted a significant amount of traction on Twitter and most comments included investors anticipating a fall in BTC price in the near term if such large amounts land back on exchanges. 

The large transaction made to the unknown wallet is most likely not going to be the last step in the hacker’s withdrawal of funds in fiat currency.

In tandem with the recovery of these BTC, the amount of HODLed or Lost BTC reached a one-month low of 7,251,324.040 BTC as per Glassnode alerts.

At press time Bitcoin oscillated at $38,167.67 noting 2.63% daily gains and 4.39% weekly gains. For now, it seems like the $2 billion worth of BTC should not have a significant impact on the market.

In the future too, if the hackers break the sum down into smaller portions before selling off then the spot prices should remain stable. However, if larger sell-offs take place BTC could see some correction. The global crypto market cap at press time was at $1.76 trillion with, a 4.26% increase over the last day. 

About the Author

A Journalism post-graduate with a keen interest in emerging markets across South East Asia, Varuni’s interest lies in the Blockchain technology. As a financial journalist, she covers metric and data-driven stories with a tinge of commentary, and strongly believes in HODLing.

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