The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has seized over US$3.6 billion worth of Bitcoin linked to crypto exchange Bitfinex’s hack that occurred in 2016, as the country ramps up efforts to combat crypto crime.

Fast facts

  • The DOJ said Tuesday in a statement that it has arrested two individuals for allegedly laundering proceeds of 119,754 Bitcoin — currently valued at US$4.5 billion — which were stolen from Bitfinex’s platform during the 2016 breach.
  • The recovered Bitcoin was valued at over US$3.6 billion at the time of seizure.
  • “Today’s arrests, and the department’s largest financial seizure ever, show that cryptocurrency is not a safe haven for criminals,” said Lisa O. Monaco, deputy attorney general.
  • Bitfinex hailed the DOJ’s efforts in a statement and pledged to follow appropriate legal channels to establish its rights to a return of the stolen Bitcoin.
  • “Crime does not pay in crypto,” Jean-Louis van der Velde, CEO of Bitfinex, told Forkast.