$2 Billion Worth of Lost Bitcoin from Mt. Gox Hack Is Recoverable, Claims Lawyer
In what is known as the biggest bitcoin hack of all time, a Moscow-based law firm believes there’s an opportunity to recover almost 25% of the 850,000 missing bitcoins that were stolen a few years back from Mt Gox exchange. The entire worth of the coins stolen was over US$450 million at the time of the theft.
ZP Legal, the Russian law firm that is proposing the solution in lieu of continuing to wait for Japanese courts to resolve the issue, believes that approximately 170,000 to 200,000 bitcoins can be recovered – currently worth about US$1.7 million to $2 million. ZP is proposing to go through litigation against Russian nationals who allegedly stole the bitcoin. As compensation for the firm’s assistance, it will take a 50-75% fee for the amount of coins they’re able to recover.
Managing Partner of ZP Legal, Alexander Zheleznikov, believes that a portion of the coins stolen from Mt Gox likely fell into the hands of BTC-e, a defunct cryptocurrency exchange who's alleged operator Alexander Vinnick (a Russian national) is facing money laundering charges. Zheleznikov is confident that Vinnik’s investigation can be expedited if the creditors of Mt Gox begin helping law enforcement officials with proving any connection between BTC-e, its operators, Mt Gox and WEX (BTC-e’s successor).
According to Coindesk, Alexander Zheleznikov said in a statement: “If our assumptions of those connections are correct, the [thieves] will ultimately come forward and plead guilty, and to reduce the punishment, they will offer to recover a part of the funds. If they don’t, they will be deemed guilty by law enforcement, and then there will be a chance to sue them for damages based on the criminal case.”
WizSec, a major cyber security firm, believes that the vast majority (if not all) the bitcoins were stolen from Mt Gox’s hot (online) wallet between 2011 and 2014.
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