The US Department of Justice is reported to have seized $ 1 billion in Bitcoin. It is stated that Bitcoins are linked to Silk Road.
The US Department of Justice reported that it seized Bitcoins with a total value of over $ 1 billion. It is stated that these Bitcoins belong to the dark web marketplace Silk Road.
The $ 1 billion seizure was recorded as the largest cryptocurrency operation in the US ever.
We reported yesterday that 69,369 BTC has been moved from a wallet that has had no exit since 2015. It was not clear at first whether this move was related to the Bitcoins seized by the Ministry of Justice, but this was confirmed by the statement from the ministry.
Blockchain analysis company Elliptic announced yesterday that BTCs in the wallet may be related to Silk Road. Before Silk Road was crushed by US agents in 2013, it was a dark marketplace for illegal shopping, from drug purchases to hiring a hitman. Some BTC belonging to the site had been sold through government auctions in recent years. Tom Robinson, co-founder of Elliptic, told Bloomberg, “I can now say that I am 60 percent sure that these BTCs come from Silk Road.”
Silk Road is said to have made $ 1.2 billion in illegal sales and $ 80 million in commissions in less than three years. The entire transaction on the site was running in Bitcoin. Ross William Ulbricht operated Silk Road from January 2011 until it was closed. Ulbricht, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, is now in prison.
Ministry announced: BTCs were seized from Silk Road hacker
Ministry of Justice officials announced that the Bitcoins seized were the Bitcoins stolen from Silk Road, such as 2012 and 2013. The Department reported that in-depth investigations of this BTC address by the US Attorney General and IRS CI agents revealed that the funds were associated with X (name hidden here), and that this person was the person who hacked Silk Road’s money. In the continuation of the statement, law enforcement officers seized several thousand Bitcoins on November 3, 2020 within the framework of this investigation regarding the hack. On November 4, 2020, the value of the Bitcoins seized was over $ 1 billion. ” It was said.
In the meantime, it was noted that Ross Ulbricht, the founder and manager of Silk Road, knew the hacker’s identity, even threatened X and tried to take these Bitcoins from him. It was reported that X refused to return the Bitcoins to Ulbricht, kept them or not.
It is stated in the court documents on the subject that the government also knows the identity of X. In the documents, it is stated that X signed an agreement with the US Attorney General’s Office on November 3, 2020, and with this agreement, it was decided to transfer BTCs to the USA.
In addition to Bitcoin, the authorities also seized the same amount of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin SV, all of which were forked from Bitcoin.
How did the USA get to X?
Another question regarding the incident is how the US got to X’s identity. The hacker, who controlled the BTCs, sent 101 BTC to the exchange called BTC-e, which is said to be frequently used for money laundering in 2015. The USA also seized this stock market in 2017. It was alleged that the exchange helped launder billions of dollars with Bitcoin.
Robinson, co-founder of Elliptic, said, “They probably accessed the exchange’s records and obtained this person’s information through the records.” says.
Robinson argues that the seizure of billion-dollar cryptocurrencies will bring more than just after. At this point, Robinson pointed out that law enforcement agencies have recently acquired blockchain monitoring software, “Now we can see much more intervention in crypto money as it has been proven that larger sums can be recovered.” says.
Celil Öztürk: “The hacking activity of official units may be hidden”
Celil Öztürk, the Blockchain Researcher and Legal Counsel we consulted, stated that the invalidity of the evidence is one of the serious objections made against this file, due to the way the evidence regarding the Silk Road file was seized. Öztürk said, “It can be evaluated that the seizure may have been made directly by hacking activities carried out by official units as in the allegations raised in the investigation and that this could be concealed for legal reasons. said.