A British court has ordered Bitfinex to freeze $860,000 worth of bitcoins after cryptocurrency exchanges and blockchain-detecting firm Chainalysis tracked down ransoms paid for ransom. Victims of ransomware have paid $950,000 worth of bitcoins to attackers through an insurance company, according to documents released last week by the High Court of England and Wales,media reported. Although some of these bitcoins have been converted to fiat currency, a large amount of bitcoins are stored on the Bitfinex platform.
The court then ordered the Bitfinex platform to freeze the addresses and share know-your-customer (KYC) information with the owners of those accounts. British police have not released the name of the attacked company, but hackers have asked the company to pay up to $1.2 million in bitcoins.
The documents show that the company’s insurance company filed a lawsuit in court and eventually paid $950,000 in the form of 109.25 BTC. Although some of the funds were converted to fiat currency and could not be traced, 96 BTCs (valued at $861,200 as of the time of writing) were sent to the address owned by Bitfinex.
New Money Review said the ruling marked the first time the UK High Court had approved Bitcoin as property. “A leading online insurance company uses Chainalysis software to investigate ransomware payments on behalf of its customers and to track the flow of funds from ransomware to known services, such as exchanges,” Maddie Kennedy, Communications Director at Chainalysis, said in a statement. “Bitfinex and its parent company, iFinex, were listed as defendants in the filing (“D4” and “D3”, respectively). However, the exchange said in a statement that it had been working with claimants to track Bitcoin and did not believe it was criminally linked.