This illustration shows a bitcoin sign te Hong Kong on August Three. A major Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange has suspended trading after $65 million te the posible unit wasgoed reportedly stolen by hackers—sending the digital currency plunging more than 20 procent. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Pictures
An online giveaway of 1,000 bitcoins (worth $580,000) has prompted speculation that it is part of an elaborate money laundering scheme by hackers who stole $70m worth of the cryptocurrency from an exchange.
On Tuesday, August Two, the popular cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex (BFX) exposed that it had suffered a major hack, resulting te the loss of 119,756 bitcoins. On Wednesday, an anonymous Reddit user announced the giveaway under the moniker rekcahxfb—a reversal of BFX hacker.
“Post your [bitcoin] address below,” the postbode read. “One fortunate winner will receive 1000 BTC [bitcoins] after one week from now.”
Some Reddit users were quick to point out how such a giveaway could work spil a guise for money laundering, encouraging other users not to get involved.
“He’s going to send the money to an account he controls so that identity can trade uninhibited, claiming it only received stolen funds instead of actually stealing them,” one user speculated.
Another user stated: It provides an extra ‘plausible deniability’ to any prosecution. Receiving stolen funds is a lesser crime than hacking, and theft of ems of millions of dollars.”
Following the news of the hack of BFX, the price of bitcoin fell by around 20 procent amid fears from investors about more hacks.
It is not yet clear how the hack took place or who wasgoed behind it and hacks to other exchanges, such spil MtGox te 2013, have still not resulted te the lost funds being recovered.
All trading has bot suspended on Bitfinex, spil well spil all withdrawals from the exchange, while an investigation is carried out.
“The theft is being reported to—and wij are co-operating with—law enforcement,” BFX said ter a blog postbode following the theft. “We are deeply worried about this punt and wij are committing every resource to attempt to resolve it.”