The Royal Courts of Justice has ordered Bitfinex to freeze $860,000 worth of Bitcoin after the exchange and blockchain sleuthing firm , Chainalysis traced the funds towards a ransomware.
According to a report by New Money Review and a filing published last week by the England and Wales High Court, a British court has ordered Bitfinex to freeze the address of an account tied to a ransomware payout and share the know-your-customer information with authorities.
The report claims that an unnamed firm paid $950,000 in bitcoin as ransom to the perpetrator account through an insurance company intermediate in response to the victim’s computers being hijacked by malware. While some of the ransom was converted to fiat, 96 BTC was transferred to an address on Bitfinex.
As indicated by the filing, an unnamed firm had been told to pay $1.2 million in BTC after its computers were hacked by ransomware. The firm’s insurer, that filed the court claim, finally paid $950,000 in the form of BTC 109.25. Where some of these funds were changed to fiat currency and are not traceable, $861,200 worth BTC were sent to a Bitfinex address.
Maddie Kennedy, the Chainalysis Director of Communications, said in a statement “A leading cyber insurer used Chainalysis software to investigate ransomware payments made on behalf of their clients and trace the flow of funds from the point of extortion to known services such as exchanges.”
While Bitfinex issued a statement claiming to have “robust systems” in place to assist law enforcement, the exchange declined to confirm whether it would share client information with authorities.