At around this time in 2016, cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex was hacked and 119 755 Bitcoin was stolen.

Today, Bitfinex has issued a call to find its Bitcoin and it’s offering anybody that can help to find the stolen Bitcoin a reward of up to $400 million.

The strange thing however is that Bitfinex is willing to pay the hackers a reward for returning the Bitcoin.

“Today’s announcement of a reward is our latest effort to recover these stolen funds. Those who put Bitfinex in contact with the hacker will receive 5% of the total property recovered (or equivalent funds or assets at current market values), and the hackers will receive 25% of the total property recovered (or equivalent funds or assets at current market values). Any payments made to those connecting Bitfinex with the hackers and the hackers themselves will be classified as costs of recovery of the stolen property,” reads an announcement on the Bitfinex website.

According to the exchange the Bitcoin stolen in 2016 minus some coin it recovered in 2019, would be worth as much as $1.34 billion today.

We’re not sure why the hackers would want to exchange a potential $1.34 billion for $400 million but Bitfinex has a carrot, of sorts.

“In order to confirm the identity of the hackers, we will request that 1 Satoshi is sent from the wallet address responsible for the hack to a wallet address specified by Bitfinex. We will work to ensure this can be done safely, thereby protecting the identities of all parties, and Bitfinex reserves the right to impose conditions on any transfers in order to verify claims and ensure a secure process,” wrote the exchange.

So you can make off with less loot and run the risk that Bitfinex reports you to the authorities anyway or you can continue to try and make off with the full amount of stolen Bitcoin.

While Bitfinex was able to recover some Bitcoin in 2019, some here means 27.66270285 of a total 119 755.

We are very curious to see if this plea from Bitfinex works as much as we don’t quite think it will.

That having been said, perhaps appealing to the hacker’s human side will work. We’ll just have to wait and see.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.