The U.S. has recovered $2.3 million of the ransom payment that was made to hackers who targeted the Colonial Pipeline in May — causing huge disruption to the nation’s fuel supply.
Funds had been sent to a group called DarkSide, which had demanded 75 BTC after successfully infiltrating the company’s computer network.
About 63.7 BTC was retrieved after funds were transferred to a specific address that the FBI had seized a private key for. Officials were shy to reveal more about their methods, as this could mean they prove less successful in the future.
The announcement appears to have been rather bittersweet. On one hand, it shows that there can be checks and balances that might make Bitcoin more palatable to a broader cross-section of users — however, for some of those who have been involved in the crypto community from the start, the fat that the FBI can seize funds is alarming.
Some have attributed the U.S. Justice Department’s announcement to the sharp fall that’s been seen in Bitcoin over the past 24 hours, with bearish sentiment rapidly extending to coins with a smaller market cap.