An amusing thought crossed my mind: the US government might be able to confiscate stolen bitcoin as 'proceeds of crime' if it goes through hops, but the vast majority of the bitfinex hack consists of coins that were never moved, even once, after the initial hack. It will be amusing seeing the creative way they come up with to justify stealing it for themselves (because there isn't a cat in hell's chance they're giving it back to Bitfinex).

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Come to think of it, calling it now:

after 2 years, they write a document saying they're giving it back, and on the same day they publish that they also have a judge issue a court order that Bitfinex is a criminal organization and all its proceeds are to be seized immediately.

Declaring exchanges criminal organizations would be an easy way for one nation-state to get ahold of a bunch of BTC quickly.

I say "one", because it's a one-use trick. After that, the rest of the exchanges, if they aren't run by idiots, will take steps to resist seizure of their BTC. Even something as simple as multi-jurisdictional multi-sig would hobble nation-state seizure attempts.

@orthzar have to kind of disagree with your second paragraph there. the entire story of exchanges as interfaces with legacy finance, is of them ignoring what's technically and ethically correct, to get legal standing in jurisdictions and to get customers. For sure it would utterly change the landscape though .. so I guess I partially agree.

@waxwing if it's asset forfeiture, why wouldn't Bitfinex be able to claim it back? Not liking a foreign company is generally not an excuse that survives in court.

However, if at the same time there is a curfuffle around Tether, then maybe some other regulator would get first dips.

@sjors see my response to @2big2fail on this, clearly it looks like a bit of an "out there" opinion to say "lol, the government won't return the stolen goods", but this situation is *not* normal. I don't think my prediction is too much of a stretch, albeit it is not certain.

@waxwing @sjors ok i see the nuance here. time will tell.

i am of the opinion that US is coming around to support tether as it is a way for dollars to grow influence just as they have looked the other way for the euro-dollar market as it only enhances US dollar network effects

tethers are eurodollars

@2big2fail indeed. what makes this special is the nature of the relationship between Bitfinex and the US banking system + US financial agencies, there is a *long* history, even going back to their first couple of years before the hack, but even more after.

@2big2fail see: wells fargo accounts (in taiwan), see the Crypto Capital story (related!), see Tether, see the NYAG continued attempts to prosecute iFinex/Bitfinex.

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