According to blockchain tracker Elliptic, 69,369 BTC worth almost $1 billion has been on the move.
This BTC originated from a wallet that may be associated with the Silk Road website that once attracted 150,000 buyers and 4,000 vendors and facilitated total sales of $183 million.
While the US government seized 174,000 BTC from Ross Ulbricht for creating the Silk Road darknet marketplace in 2013, which were later sold in auctions, the total commission earned by the website is believed to be 614,000 BTC.
According to Elliptic, these BTC that were moved yesterday may represent Ulbricht or a Silk Road vendor moving their funds. Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson said,
“I’m going to stick my neck out and suggest that there is a fair chance that these are Ross Ulbricht’s bitcoins. Ross is currently serving a double life sentence for his role in creating the Silk Road.
Whether they are still under his control is another matter.”
These 69,369 bitcoins have been moved out of the bitcoin address 1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx, which until this transaction had the fourth-highest balance of any bitcoin address.
“This address is also notable because an encrypted file has been circulating on hacker forums for the past year, which purportedly contains the cryptographic keys required to seize the bitcoins in this address.”
When these BTC were moved out of Silk Road, they were worth around $350k, but since then, they have appreciated $955 million. The last time this wallet moved any funds, was back in April 2015 when it sent over 100 BTC to the crypto exchange BTC-e, “a great place to cash-out your crypto without being identified,” which was shut down by the US authorities in 2017.
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