US Seized More Than $1B in Silk Road–Linked Bitcoins, Seeks Forfeiture

U.S. Division of Justice seal
(Ramin Talaie/Getty Pictures)

The U.S. is suing for the forfeiture of thousands of bitcoins, totaling extra than $1 billion, that it no longer too prolonged ago seized, the Division of Justice said Thursday.

  • The seizure on Tuesday, tied to early darknet market Silk Avenue, is a truly well-known the U.S. has ever performed, the DOJ said.
  • Court paperwork point out the seized funds encompass over 69,370 bitcoin and virtually same amounts of forked cryptos bitcoin money (BCH), bitcoin gold (BTG) and bitcoin satoshi imaginative and prescient (BSV).
  • Prosecutors instruct an unnamed hacker stole the trove from Silk Avenue and moved them to a wallet the keep apart they sat from April 2013 unless the Tuesday seizure.
  • The particular particular person consented to the manager seizure on Tuesday.
  • The information comes days after blockchain intelligence company Elliptic reported that a wallet presumably belonging to the Silk Avenue market moved almost $1 billion price of bitcoin earlier this week.
  • This became the main transaction from the contend with since 2015, when it transferred 101 BTC to BTC-e – a now-shuttered cryptocurrency alternate allegedly liked by money launderers, Elliptic said. BTC-e operator Alexander Vinnik has been in custody in Europe since 2017.
  • Earlier this week, Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson speculated the money might perhaps perhaps also had been moved by imprisoned Silk Avenue operator Ross Ulbricht or a Silk Avenue vendor.
  • Ulbricht – who operated below the pseudonym Apprehension Pirate Roberts – operated the darknet web space from 2011 unless his arrest in 2013 and is for the time being serving a lifestyles sentence.

For the reason that money procure sat dormant in the wallet for years, unavailable for trading, their confiscation looks to be unlikely to procure played any role in the brand new dawdle-up in bitcoin’s stamp. Quite the opposite, if the manager were to public sale them as it on the entire does, the money might perhaps perhaps also rejoin the circulating supply.

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