The Wall Street Journal Opens a New Window cites new information from Chainalysis Opens a New Window, which spent three months tracking the stolen funds to the two entities, which according to the report are “still active.”
Chainalysis is expected to publicly release its findings on Monday. However, the firm noted that there is still a chance its analysis is incorrect and it isn’t 100 percent sure of the identities of the two groups.
Instead, in its report it refers to the groups as “Alpha and Beta.”
Chainalysis said Alpha is a “giant, tightly controlled organization at least partly driven by nonmonetary goals,” while Beta is a smaller and less organized group that is “absolutely focused on the money.”
Chainalysis, which makes software that tracks cryptocurrency transactions, added that both groups have an extensive network of digital wallets to hide their tracks. Then they both later convert that money to physical cash through online exchanges and individual transactions.
Alpha tends to immediately shuffle funds around while Beta prefers to sit on it for several months. Additionally, both groups will sometimes use regulated exchanges to employ anti-money laundering controls.
Over the years, more than $1.7 billion has been reported stolen, mainly from popular cryptocurrency exchanges such as Mt. Gox and Bitfinex. The news of the hacks also further fuels many institutional investors' pessimism over cryptocurrencies.
The firm hopes that by making this data public, it will provide exchanges with better insight into the threats they face.
Bitcoin was down more than 3 percent Monday on the news, according to Coinbase.