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I'm reading this article, and quote:

After negotiation, one hacker agreed to return 259+63 ETH

Since only the hacker can control the ETH funds, and no one can lock the ETH. I'm wondering on what situation would the hacker agree to negotiate?

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I can think of at least the following reasons:

  1. Avoid prosecution and manhunt: maybe they agreed not to pursue the hacker and not try to prosecute him, if he returns certain amount of assets. I'd imagine it's not a good feeling knowing the rest of your life that you are being hunted and may get caught any moment.

  2. Problems what to do with the assets. It may not be trivial to wash that kind of money without suspicions. You may get arrested just for handling that kind of amounts with not good explanation where it came from.

  3. Tax reasons (ok, not a very plausible reason, but still possible).

  4. Maybe they never meant to get that kind of amounts and feel bad about taking so much

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