Bitfinex 2016 Crypto Hack Recovery sees Fund Surge 59%
Stolen Bitcoin worth more than $4bn (£2.9bn) has been seized by the US Department of Justice - the largest ever confiscation of its kind.
The cryptocurrency known as Unus Sed Leo, which was issued in part to recapitalize the Bitfinex exchange following a 2016 hack, surged more than 50% after the U.S. announced that most of the stolen funds were recovered.
Officials also charged two people on Tuesday with attempting to launder the money, stolen by a hacker who breached a cryptocurrency platform in 2016.
Officials said they were able to seize more than 94,000 bitcoin, which was valued around $3.6 billion at the time of seizure. In all, the total stolen bitcoin is presently valued at approximately $4.5 billion, according to the agency.
The hacker allegedly made off with nearly 120,000 Bitcoin. Then valued at about $71m, its value now exceeds $5bn.
About 94,000 Bitcoin have been recovered.
Ilya "Dutch" Lichtenstein, 34, and his wife, Heather Morgan, 31, New Yorkers who were arrested in Manhattan Tuesday morning, spent the illegal proceeds on items ranging from gold and non-fungible tokens to a $500 Walmart gift card, prosecutors said.
In what is believed to be its previous largest financial seizure, the team seized some $2.3m in cryptocurrency last year, recovering the ransom paid by the Colonial Pipeline company to end a crippling cyberattack.