Two days in the past, about $1 billion value of bitcoin that had sat dormant because the seizure of the Silk Street market in 2013, one of many largest underground drug web sites on the darkish net, out of the blue changed hands.
Who took it? Thriller over. It was the U.S. authorities.
In a press release Thursday, the Justice Division confirmed it had seized the 70,000 bitcoins generated in income from drug gross sales on the Silk Internet market from a hacker, often known as “Particular person X,” who moved the cryptocurrency from Silk Street right into a pockets the hacker managed.
The submitting mentioned that the id of Particular person X “is thought to the federal government.”
On the time of the seizure on Tuesday, the bitcoin was value greater than $1 billion.
“Silk Street was essentially the most infamous on-line legal market of its day. The profitable prosecution of Silk Street’s founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar query. The place did the cash go? At present’s forfeiture criticism solutions this open query not less than partly,” mentioned U.S. Lawyer David Anderson in remarks.
“$1 billion of those legal proceeds at the moment are in the USA’ possession,” he mentioned.
Silk Street was for a time the “most subtle and in depth legal market on the Web,” per the Justice Division assertion. In 2013, its founder and administrator Ross Ulbricht was arrested and the positioning seized. Ulbricht was convicted in 2015 and sentenced to two life terms and an extra 40 years, for his function within the operation. Prosecutors mentioned the positioning had near 13,000 listings for medication and different unlawful providers, and generated tens of millions of bitcoin.
The Justice Division mentioned Thursday that the seized bitcoin could be topic to forfeiture proceedings.