On Feb. 8, a federal court opinion written by U.S. District Judge Zia Faruqui highlighted the role blockchain analysis played in helping law enforcement officers locate and seize the roughly 94,000 bitcoins stolen from Bitfinex.
The cryptographic analysis tools were crucial in the Bitfinex money laundering case, Faruqui said, and they obtained the addresses and private keys of about 2,000 wallets after obtaining authorization to search the defendants’ cloud storage services.
In addition, Tom Robinson, co-founder of tracking company Elliptic, said clustering techniques can help investigators figure out which addresses belong to suspects.
Currently, the IRS Criminal Investigation Service (IRS-CI) has signed multi-million dollar contracts with Chainalysis, Elliptic and TRM Labs. Earlier news, the U.S. Department of Justice seized $3.6 billion in bitcoin stolen in the 2016 Bitfinex hack.