Over $4 billion Stolen in Bitcoin

On the morning of Tuesday, February 8, 2022, two people were arrested and charged on suspicion of laundering money that was stolen during the 2016 hack of bitfinex, a virtual currency exchange. When the money was stolen, it was worth about 119,754 in bitcoin and about seventy-one million in US dollars, but it is currently worth just over 4.5 billion dollars. The two charged with committing the crime are a young married couple, Ilya Litchtenstien and Heather Morgan.

According to his Twitter account, Ilya Lichtenstein is thirty-four years old and goes by the online pseudonym Dutch. He uses Twitter as a way to critique many things related to cryptocurrency, like non-fungible tokens (NFT). He also characterizes himself as a “tech entrepreneur, explorer, and occasional magician.”

Liechtenstein’s wife, Heather Morgan, whom he married last year, is a former journalist. In Forbes magazine, she identified herself as “an international economist, serial entrepreneur, and investor” as well as “an expert in persuasion, social engineering, and game theory.” She has also stated on several occasions that she enjoys rapping and goes by the rap name Razzlekhan. She clarifies her name by saying it refers to the historical figure Genghis Khan. She has gained a lot of attention on social media for her interesting hobbies. 

The couple has been charged with laundering money, which was only traced back to Liechtenstein and Morgan when it was moved out of a wallet where it had been untouched for years.

The wallet had millions of dollars worth of bitcoin, which could not be moved all at once. This meant that Liechtenstein and Morgan allegedly moved the money little by little from the wallet. Authorities revealed that the remaining sum was then moved into the couple’s personal financial accounts, where it was used to buy gold, NFTs, and a Walmart gift card that they used to buy a PlayStation. The couple had only converted about 20% of the Bitcoin into real money, while the rest was left in the wallet until January 31.

The 2016 Bitfinex robbery was one of the largest of cryptocurrency to date. The theft ultimately resulted in a disaster within the world of crypto and caused the value of bitcoin to be reduced by 20% in just a couple of hours.