The U.S. Justice Department has captured and is now looking to auction thousands of bitcoins attached to the dark web market Silk Road, with the holdings estimated at more than $1 billion.
This is judicial forfeiture action
According to the justice department’s statement, the seizure illustrates the biggest seizure of cryptocurrency in the records of the Department of Justice.
The official statement further described that investigators utilized software tools to recognize ” 54 previously undetected bitcoin transactions performed by Silk Road, all of which seem to describe bitcoin, which was the returns of illegal action, that was stolen from Silk Road in or about 2012 and 2013.” The statement asserted that Chainalysis helped in its inquiry.
According to the report, the authorities seized the funds from an anonymous hacker who had obtained access to them. The Bitcoin address at which they apparently caught the currency is the fourth-richest in the world.
According to the statement, the complaint alleges that these funds were traced to a bitcoin address. Further investigation of that bitcoin address by the United States Attorney’s Office and IRS CI agents revealed that the funds were connected to Individual X. It was further determined that Individual X had hacked the funds from Silk Road. According to that investigation of the hack, law enforcement seized several thousand Bitcoins on November 3, 2020. On November 4, 2020, the seized Bitcoin had a value of over $1 billion.”
In a statement, U.S. Attorney David Anderson stated that
“The successful prosecution of Silk Road’s founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar question. Where did the money go?”
He further stated that this seizure tells us that now the $1 billion of these criminal proceeds are now in the United States’ possession.”
Silk Road, run by Ross William Ulbricht started in January 2011, adopted Bitcoins to produce the equivalent of $1.2 billion in illegal sales and get $80 million in payments in less than three years, according to court documents.