Earlier in the year, the Justice Department announced it had seized billions in crypto funds from a heist that occurred in 2016. Many customers of Bitfinex had their money stolen during that heist, and they learned that approximately $70 million of the recovered funds were likely theirs.
Funds Stolen from Bitfinex Have Not Yet Been Returned
One such victim – Frankie Cavazos – said he lost about 15 BTC units from the 2016 attack. Upon hearing that his money had been recovered, he commented:
It was the biggest relief of my life.
He said the money he stood to get back could be a “life-changing amount of money” as the units stolen in 2016 amounted to less than $1,000 each. Today, while the price of bitcoin may be crashing and burning, there is still a significant rise in the books, and the price of BTC now stands at about $19K.
However, there are legal issues in the mix, and the victims of the cyberattack have not gotten their money back just yet. Instead, they’re having to go to court to prove their ownership statuses. As a means of trying to ease things up for its customers, crypto exchange Bitfinex has stated that it feels all the stolen funds should simply be put back on the platform for its executives to handle accordingly. The company mentioned:
Bitfinex will work with the DOJ and follow appropriate legal processes to establish our rights to a return of the stolen bitcoin.
Bitfinex, following the hack six years ago, took means to provide any affected customers with separate digital currency units that were equal to the amounts they lost. They could do whatever they wanted with these assets, whether it was sell them, hold onto them, or trade them for other currencies. The company feels it’s done all it needed to do to satisfy the requirements set by the potential victims of the hack, and now it wants to get a return on the funds it doled out.
Not everybody agrees with this sentiment. Cavazos, for example, says Bitfinex simply dumped these tokens on whatever customers may have been victimized. These individuals had no say in the matter; they were not allowed to voice a “no” or vie for other options. They simply were made to accept these crypto units and move on, which he says is unfair.
They pegged them to $1 per BFX token. They put them on the open market, and it went from $1 to, like, 20 cents, so they were essentially allowed to basically FOMO everyone out of their debt.
Customers Don’t Think the Previous Options Were Right
Rafal Bielenia – who had 91 bitcoin units on the platform at the time of the hack – also doesn’t agree with the exchange’s sentiment, claiming:
I sold those tokens as fast as possible immediately when they became available.
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