The Feds Seized $1 Billion in Stolen Silk Road Bitcoins
Seven years after the arrest of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, US law enforcement has also seized $1 billion in bitcoin attached to the operation. Ulbricht’s laptop left keys to unlock only a fraction of the finances he had amassed over the years of the black market drug trade. The Justice Department has finally been able to locate and seize the $1 billion assets. Last week, the DOJ filed a civil forfeiture complaint about the bitcoins from an unnamed individual in court. It is believed that this individual was observing the downfall of the Silk Road, hacking it, and being able to steal a trove of drug money.
Experts first observed the cryptocurrency movement on the night of November 3, as it was well known that the wallet was visible on the bitcoin’s blockchain and discussed through hacker forums. The wallet remained untouchable for those who didn’t obtain the keys to spend it. For years it was unclear who the coins belonged to, and later it was debated over who had moved it. Elliptic, a blockchain analysis firm, connected the wallet to the Silk Road, finding that in May 2012, 70,000 coins were moved from known Silk Road addresses to two other addresses.