Bear in mind the $1 billion value of Bitcoin belonging to Silk Highway that moved this week? Effectively, it seems it was the US authorities doing the shifting.
The US is suing for the forfeiture of 69,270 BTC, value greater than $1 billion at present costs. The Justice Division seized these Bitcoins on Tuesday, marking the most important crypto bust the federal government has ever made.
These BTC are linked to the Silk Highway darknet market that the authorities shut down seven years in the past.
“The profitable prosecution of Silk Highway’s founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar query. The place did the cash go?” the authorities stated within the assertion. “Immediately’s forfeiture grievance solutions this open query at the least partly.”
The announcement got here amidst Bitcoin’s resurgence to a brand new 2020 excessive of practically $16,000 earlier than retracing a bit at the moment round $15,500.
Bitcoin is on its third such bull cycle, which sees optimistic momentum from the continued uncertainty across the US elections, weak US greenback, elevated institutional and mainstream adoption, and the macro fundamentals which might be fueling this rally.
It “nearly looks like Bitcoin’s excellent storm,” stated Man Hirsch, managing director for the U.S. at eToro.
The Silk Highway
The Bitcoins have been seized from an alleged hacker recognized as Particular person X, “whose id is thought to the federal government,” as per the assertion.
The doc factors out that the regulation enforcement officers used a third-party bitcoin attribution firm this 12 months to research Bitcoin transactions executed by Silk Highway and detected 54 transactions that have been despatched from BTC addresses managed by Silk Highway to 2 Bitcoin addresses that helped the brokers hint them to the alleged hacker.
The Silk Highway web site described as “essentially the most subtle and in depth prison market on the Web” by the authorities was operated by Ross Ulbricht from 2011 to 2013. Throughout this time, the darknet market was used to generate about $1.2 billion in illicit gross sales.
In 2015, Ulbricht was convicted by a New York federal jury of seven prison counts.
In keeping with the crypto researcher, Chainalysis that assisted regulation enforcement in monitoring down the funds, Silk Highway accounts for nearly 20% of whole Bitcoin financial exercise at its peak in 2013.