The US government has recovered 27.7 bitcoins stolen from Bitfinex in 2016 with the crypto exchange stating they have now been returned to Bitfinex.
Making this the first time ever, as far as we are aware, that law enforcement authorities return stolen crypto to the rightful owners.
Details are sparse with it unclear which agency recovered the coins or how exactly the hacker/s were found or why the amount is so small when 120,000 BTC were stolen in 2016. Reuters says:
“U.S. and European law enforcement agencies investigated the heist, Bitfinex General Counsel Stuart Hoegner told Reuters, declining to give further details or name the agencies involved.”
Bitfinex itself says they have “collaborated with international law enforcement agencies to provide intelligence and assist with investigations.”
They will now sell these bitcoins for dollars and distribute them to exchange customers that were affected by the hack.