Victor Ugochukwu · Dec 14, 2020 . 5min read
U.S. Government seizes $1B in Bitcoin linked to darkweb marketplace Silk Road
The U.S. Government has filed a complaint for forfeiture against Silk Road post seizure of more than $1 billion in bitcoin and other cryptos.
By Komal Joshi · Nov 6, 2020 . 6min read
The U.S. government has seized around $1 billion in bitcoin and other cryptos, related to the extinct dark web marketplace Silk Road. The Silk Road funds, comprising 69,370 bitcoin, and equivalent amounts in cryptocurrencies Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV are under the department from Nov. 3 however, came to knowledge following a press release today.
The Justice Department states that it had filed a civil action for perpetual forfeiture of the cryptocurrency. Moreover, it declared that the forfeiture was the most comprehensive seizure of crypto in the history of the agency.
The U.S. agencies were capable of tracking down those illicit funds via a unit in the IRS. The IRS practices in tracking virtual currency transactions. Moreover, the IRS agents were capable of identifying 54 new bitcoin transactions performed by the Silk Road. It appears to be proceeds of some of that illegal activity, the complaint said. The agency was then capable of tracing that money to a particular bitcoin address. It seems to have hacked the bitcoin funds from the Silk Road.
“Individual X” managed to hack the Silk Road and steal cryptocurrencies.
The person behind the wallet referred to as “Individual X,” has supposedly managed to hack the Silk Road to steal the cryptocurrencies. Individual X has admitted to signing over the funds earlier this week. Thus, making the funds the largest crypto seizure in Bitcoin history. The address now embraces crypto assets that are worth over $1 billion. This address was Bitcoin’s fourth-largest address which was quiescent for approximately five years up until a few days ago.
For the uninformed, Silk Road’s founder, Ross Ulbricht was responsible for running Silk Road in February 2015. It involves planning to commit narcotics trafficking, conspiring to commit computer hacking, and money laundering. Moreover, he was consequently condemned to life imprisonment in May 2015 with no possibility of parole. An unnamed hacker, named only as Individual X, purportedly seized the funds from Silk Road between May 2012 and April 2013. He kept the stolen cryptocurrency until it’s seizure this week.
It’s vital that while the cryptocurrency seized is worth over $1 billion today; it wasn’t at that time. Throughout Ulbricht’s trial, a Federal Bureau of Investigations agent informed the court that he had discovered over 3,760 bitcoin transactions to a laptop Ulbricht had. However, this was along with 700,000 bitcoin from Silk Road to wallets controlled by Ulbricht. The point that the Silk Road bitcoin is under the government control and could penetrate the market via an auction or sale along with continuing uncertainty over the U.S. election caused bitcoin to swell almost 12% today, to $15,847.37.
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