Last week a significant incident hit the cryptocurrency sphere when mysteriously all of a sudden $1 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) was transferred out of a wallet that previously remained untouched for seven years. No one possibly figured out who was behind the vast withdrawal. Lately, pretty unlikely a culprit came forward and revealed themselves to be the US Government.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) had made the surprise announcement that they were the entities who had seized the $1 billion worth Bitcoin (BTC) as apart of a case that targeted the Silk Road. The Silk Road is now a defunct dark web marketplace that used to deal in drug trading primarily.
The DOJ stated in a court filing that they had worked with an anonymous hacker who helped retrieve 70,000 Bitcoins, Originally, the goldmine was worth $350,000 when it was first deposited. But due to the extensive rise of the bitcoin value in recent years, the value of the removed crypto coins had been calculated to have been worth $1 billion when seized.
The law enforcement agency has also revealed that the hacker who worked for them had been known as “Individual X” who had been monitoring the contents of the wallet for the past several years. But he kept all the wallet contents untouched.
Back in 2012, Individual X had first gained access to the payment system of Silk Road. But in the last week, they had agreed to transfer the amount to the US government from the wallet. The Silk Road founder, Ross Ulbricht had also threatened the hacker reportedly previously. Nevertheless, the reason behind cooperating with DOJ currently has not been known.
US Attorney David L. Anderson said in a statement:
Silk Road was the most notorious online criminal marketplace of its day.
The successful prosecution of Silk Road’s founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar question. Where did the money go? Today’s forfeiture complaint answers this open question at least in part. $1 billion of these criminal proceeds are now in the United States’ possession.
Before the FBI busted the Silk Road in 2013, it used to be a lively marketplace. During its short life span, the darknet platform had generated an estimated Bitcoins numbering 600,000 that is roughly one-third of what was seized by the FBI when they had arrested Ross Ulbricht. The Silk Road founder is currently serving 40 years in the prison along with two life sentences.
Based on this, the one billion dollars seized by the DOJ can just be compared to a drop in the ocean having a total value of 600,000 Bitcoins, currently accounting to 8.5 billion.
However, the DOJ has not yet confirmed regarding their plans for the seized bitcoins. Considering the past histories, the US Government had auctioned off all the confiscated cryptocurrencies and had stored the profits.
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