Feds claw back $30 million of cryptocurrency stolen by North Korean hackers

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Cryptocurrency analytics firm Chainalysis said on Thursday that it helped the US government seize $30 million worth of digital coins that North Korean-backed hackers stole earlier this year from the developer of the non-fungible token-based game Axie Infinite.

When accounting for the more than 50 percent fall in cryptocurrency prices since the theft occurred in March, the seizure represents only about 12 percent of the total funds stolen. The people who pulled off the heist transferred 173,600 ethereum worth about $594 million at the time and $25.5 million in USDC stablecoin, making it one of the biggest cryptocurrency thefts ever.

Harder to hide

The seizures “demonstrate that it is becoming more difficult for bad actors to successfully cash out their ill-gotten crypto gains,” Erin Plante, senior director of investigations at Chainalysis, wrote. “We have proven that with the right blockchain analysis tools, world-class investigators and compliance professionals can collaborate to stop even the most sophisticated hackers and launderers.”

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