On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) arrested two individuals that are accused of an “alleged conspiracy to launder” 94,636 bitcoins stolen from Bitfinex in 2016. Both of these suspects are well-known in the tech industry. Ilya Lichtenstein, a Y-Combinator-backed startup, was co-founder of Mixrank and Heather Morgan was a Forbes writer.
The Myriad of Mysterious Bitcoin Transfers From the 2016 Bitfinex Hack
The U.S. government announced the “largest cryptocurrency seizure to date” after the DOJ seized 94,636 bitcoins that were stolen in the August 2016 Bitfinex hack. On August 2, 2016, a hacker managed to breach Bitfinex and steal 120,000 bitcoin (BTC). Bitcoin’s price shuddered 24 hours after the breach losing 22% in USD value during the course of the aftermath. At first, Bitfinex talked about reimbursing customers with a bail-in haircut plan, which means traders would only get a fraction of losses.
Two weeks later after the 120,000 BTC was stolen, Bitfinex gave the crypto community an investigation update. Bitfinex introduced “recovery right tokens” to compensate customers who had lost their funds. The coins were called BFX tokens and by April 3, 2017, at 8 p.m. UST (4 p.m. EST), the crypto exchange revealed it had paid its debt in full. People stopped talking about Bitfinex’s stolen bitcoins. However, the addresses that held the coins were being monitored.
In June 2019, the thieves moved 170 BTC and then 300 BTC in August 2019. On May 21, 2020, 30 coins from the Bitfinex hack started moving, and had been transferred once again to another unknown address. On June 11, 2020, hackers moved stolen Bitfinex coins, as they transferred 416 bitcoin to an unknown address. About a week later, the thieves moved 2,500 bitcoins and in October 2020, the hackers transferred 2,034 BTC to unknown wallets.
5,045 BTC was moved by the hackers on December 1, 2020, and then on April 14, 2021, thousands upon thousands of stolen Bitfinex bitcoins were transferred, and caught by blockchain parsers. But the most unusual move of them all was on February 1, 2022, when 94,643. 29 bitcoin was consolidated into one address with no privacy-preserving tactics used. The moved bitcoins on February 1, represented 79. 03% of the 119,756 BTC stolen on August 2, 2016.
Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan: The Duo Accused of Laundering Billions in Bitcoin Stolen From Bitfinex
Following the odd transfer, the DOJ announced on February 8, 2022, that it seized approximately 94,636 bitcoins and arrested two individuals. The accused Bitfinex bitcoin money launderers were Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, and his wife, Heather Morgan, 31. The two accused bitcoin money launderers were well-known in the tech community and didn’t hide their existence online. Mixrank was co-founded by Lichtenstein and is the CEO. This platform allows customers to discover each other through a system that connects them with sales reps. Mixrank and Lichtenstein managed to raise $1.5 million from Mark Cuban and other investors.
Lichtenstein had no problem with public appearances and speaking in interviews about his entrepreneurship. Lichtenstein’s wife Heather Rhiannon Morgan was also not shy and was a contributor at Forbes, and wrote articles about things like cybercriminals. Morgan had close to 5,000 Instagram followers and she considered herself a street rapper and was called “Razzlekhan.” While performing and acting as her alter ego Razzlekhan, she also called herself “the Crocodile of Wall Street,” and the musician published a dedicated website.
” Razz is a hacker and entrepreneur who explores new frontiers in art, just like her fearless spirit.” razzlekhan.com states. Links are scattered all over the web about Morgan and Lichtenstein, since they shared a lot of entrepreneurial spirit. Morgan’s Linkedin profile states that she is a “Serial entrepreneur, SaaS Investors and Surrealist.” Lichtenstein studied psychology and worked in marketing. After growing up in Russia, Lichtenstein holds dual citizenship from the U.S. as well as Russia. After Lichtenstein’s career at Mixrank, he allegedly worked for a “stealth security startup.” The duo’s marriage is fairly recent as well, as Morgan and Lichtenstein got married in November 2021.
In addition to working for a “stealth security startup,” Lichtenstein was an angel investor at Demandpath.
Lightenstein was an angel investor at Demandpath.
The U.S. government also did not detail what will happen to the seized bitcoin (BTC), but it’s assumed the coins will be auctioned like prior seizures. Although no one knows how Morgan and Lichtenstein got involved in the Bitfinex hack bitcoins, it is clear that the pair did not hide anything. The couple, who were married in November 2021, broke the news that they would wed in the summer months before the wedding.
“[Heather Morgan is my] best friends and the woman I dreamed of,” Lichtenstein stated at the time.
Currently, the couple remains in prison because court prosecutors say the duo “presents a serious risk of flight.” The court prosecutors’ filing claims Lichtenstein and Morgan may still possess 7,506 ill-gotten bitcoin (BTC). If true, that would leave $333.8 million using current BTC exchange rates at the duo’s disposal.
The investigation also revealed that Lichtenstein and Morgan engaged in extremely complex laundering of a part of the stolen funds kept in wallet 1CGA4s,” according to the filing details. “Specifically, beginning in or around January 2017, a portion of the stolen BTC moved out of wallet 1CGA4s in a series of small, complex transactions across multiple accounts and platforms.” The Washington judge presiding over the case halted the couple’s chance at bail after the prosecutors filed the flight risk concerns.
This story contains tags
2016, 5000 Instagram followers, 94636 bitcoin, BitFinex, Bitfinex Bitcoin, Bitfinex Bitcoins seized, Bitfinex BTC, CEO of Mixrank, Flight Risk, Forbes Writer, Heather Morgan, Heather Rhiannon Morgan, Ilya Lichtenstein, Mark Cuban, Mixrank, No bail, rapper, Razzlekhan, Razzlekhan Rapper, Russian citizenship, Washington Judge, Y Combinator
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Jamie Redman, a journalist and financial tech expert living in Florida, is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. Redman is passionate about Bitcoin, open-source codes, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.
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Borroe Finance draws attention in presale as Ethereum and BNB investors seek new opportunities
Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB) are among the best altcoins in the crypto industry, and investors will always have them in their portfolios. Even though these tokens are currently bullish, they will probably not deliver a triple-digit ROI to investors in 2024. As a result, savvy investors turned to a fast-growing crypto token called Borroe…
Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB) are among the best altcoins in the crypto industry, and investors will always have them in their portfolios. Even though these tokens are currently bullish, they will probably not deliver a triple-digit ROI to investors in 2024.
As a result, savvy investors turned to a fast-growing crypto token called Borroe Finance ($ROE). Keep reading to see expert opinions and forecasts on these tokens.
Standard Chartered predicts a May Ethereum Spot ETFs approval
On January 30, analysts at Standard Chartered (one of the world’s leading financial institutions) predicted that the US SEC may approve Ethereum Spot ETFs by May 23. According to Geoff Kendrick (head of Digital Assets Research at SC), Ethereum will likely mirror BTC’s price movement in the weeks leading up to SEC’s approval for BTC Spot ETFs. Therefore, Kendrick predicts that ETH could trade for $4,000 before its approval.
Thanks to this positive Ethereum crypto news, ETH recorded a minor price surge in the last week of January. On January 24, ETH traded for $2,230. A week later, ETH gained 4.89% and sold for $2,336. According to crypto analysts, Ethereum may likely be one of the best crypto investments in 2024 due to landmark activities in the blockchain industry. BTC halving comes in April, and the resulting market volatility will likely push ETH to $3,200.
Binance Coin surges amid groundbreaking partnership
On January 27, Laika AI (one of the world’s best DeFi research platforms) announced a partnership with Binance Coin Greenfield. Binance Coin Greenfield is a sub-chain of the BNB chain built to provide a decentralized data storage system and thriving web3 data economy to the blockchain industry. In other news, Crypto Slam recently revealed that Binance Coin Chain NFT sales shot up by 688% in the last week of January.
Thanks to these favourable ecosystem developments, BNB went bullish in late January. On January 24, BNB traded for $292. Seven days later, BNB gained 4.84% and sold for $307. According to crypto experts, BNB is primed for a price surge in Q1 2024 because retail crypto traders will return to accumulate altcoins during BTC’s halving in April. Therefore, BNB will likely trade for $325 by March 2024.
Investors back $ROE, presale raises over $2.7M in four stages
Borroe Finance ($ROE) is the world’s first web3 blockchain invoice discounting NFT marketplace. As a decentralized fundraising marketplace, Borroe Finance allows web3 businesses to raise instant cash by minting future earnings into NFTs and selling them to supportive communities at discounted prices. To ensure the safety of the fundraising process, Borroe Finance incorporates AI-risk assessment and efficient payment solutions into its protocol.
$ROE’s fourth presale stage is ongoing, and the token is selling for $0.019. So far, $ROE has completed 85.7% of its current presale stage, and the platform has raised over $2.7 million. When all presale stages conclude, $ROE will surge to $0.040 and deliver a massive 110.5% ROI to early investors. Furthermore, experts believe $ROE will record quick market acceptance in 2024 and likely trade for $0.190 by the end of the year.
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Why experienced investors are turning to NuggetRush amidst the meme coin frenzy?
Shiba Inu burned billions of tokens in January. BONK could fall further amid growing competition from meme coin rivals. NuggetRush (NUGX) could become the most in-demand play-to-earn network after its 80% price increase. The price of SHIB is still struggling despite over 9 billion SHIB tokens being burned by Shiba Inu in January 2024. On…
- Shiba Inu burned billions of tokens in January.
- BONK could fall further amid growing competition from meme coin rivals.
- NuggetRush (NUGX) could become the most in-demand play-to-earn network after its 80% price increase.
The price of SHIB is still struggling despite over 9 billion SHIB tokens being burned by Shiba Inu in January 2024. On the other hand, competition from other meme coins could push BONK down in the market.
Now, investors see NuggetRush (NUGX) as a last hope to secure stable returns and gold rewards. The project has sold nearly 169 million tokens. Yet, can NUGX become a better investment than top altcoins like SHIB and BONK? Let’s hear from market experts.
NuggetRush: matching expectations with high-value gold rewards
Speculation in the NFT gaming industry is rising NuggetRush prepares to launch the first-ever blockchain mining game. While gamers are thrilled by the prospect of an immersive strategy-based game, investors and crypto enthusiasts are more excited about earning NFT rewards that can be traded for real gold.
NuggetRush players primarily aim to become the game’s best miners and sit atop its leaderboard. To achieve this, players will set off on their journey with only miners and equipment while upgrading them as they progress.
With better NFT characters and machinery, a player’s mining efficiency will increase, boosting their chances of completing quests and earning financial rewards.
As for wealth-building, NuggetRush (NUGX) offers staking and trading of NFT assets. Rare in-game rewards called RUSHGEMS can be swapped for real-world gold at the game’s P2P marketplace. On the other hand, NuggetRush (NUGX) players can earn up to 20% APY rewards by staking their NFT assets.
NuggetRush is now in the last phases of its presale, and investors have already swooped up over 168 million NUGX tokens. In that time, NUGX’s price has risen by 80%, moving from $0.010 in round one to $0.018 by round five of its presale.
Investors are already anticipating another 11.1% rise to $0.020 as NUGX is gearing up for its listing. Furthermore, it is showing strong signs of becoming one of the top DeFi projects.
Shiba Inu burns 9 billion tokens
Shiba Inu has kept its word of increasing the SHIB burn rate in 2024. Reports from ShibaScan show that Shiba Inu has burned over 9 billion tokens in January 2024. It comes amid the widespread bearishness that has suffocated the progress of many altcoins.
Shiba Inu (SHIB) has also succumbed to the bearish pressure. As of January 1, SHIB traded at $0.00001069. It fell by 10.9% to $0.000009516 on January 17. SHIB fell by 6.8% to $0.000008861 on January 25, before recovering by 3.8% to $0.0000092 by January 30.
Shiba Inu (SHIB) first unveiled its policy of increased token burns in late 2023, following the launch of Shibarium.
Furthermore, Shibarium’s network activity has risen since the end of 2023, increasing demand for Shiba Inu’s services. This could push Shiba Inu’s SHIB token up by 52.3% to $0.00001402. Analysts say Shiba Inu’s (SHIB) increased token burn rate could make it one of the top crypto coins.
BONK expects competition from meme coin rivals
BONK has enjoyed spectacular growth in the past few months. Yet, the network is gearing up for a possible downturn amid competition from community-driven meme coins. In late January 2024, meme coin investor sentiment rose for networks like Dogwifhat.
Despite the market-wide price drop-off, BONK remained very popular among many crypto users. It traded at $0.00001494 on January 1. BONK jumped by 19.5% to $0.00001202 on January 18 before falling by 6.3% to $0.00001126 on January 30.
BONK could rise further if the meme coin sector reaches its 2023 highs. The network has already upgraded its mobile wallet features to allow smooth and seamless trading of tokens. This could further boost BONK’s trading activity while pushing its price to $0.00001509.
For more information bout the NuggetRush presale, visit the NuggetRush Presale Website.
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