Nearly $1 billion worth of bitcoins connected to the illegal darknet website “Silk Road” are on the move, according to blockchain tracker Elliptic, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
What Happened: 69,369 bitcoins were moved out of a wallet linked to the Ross William Ulbricht-run website that once facilitated sell drugs and offering of services such as murder-for-hire, Bloomberg reported.
It is not clear if the funds are being moved by the owner of Silk Road, law enforcement, or a vendor, Tom Robinson, co-founder of Elliptic told Bloomberg.
“I’d say I’m about 60% confident that these funds are from the Silk Road at the moment— I’m not certain about it,” Robinson said.
$1 billion in #bitcoin originating from the Silk Road dark market, and perhaps belonging to its founder Ross Ulbricht, are on the move today for the first time since 2015. Who controls these funds now?https://t.co/pyoATdjgLF
— Tom Robinson (@tomrobin) November 4, 2020
“A copy of the encrypted wallet file is reportedly being circulated – if someone cracked the password they could seize the bitcoins. The owner of the wallet has perhaps moved the BTC to a new wallet to prevent this,” said Robinson on Twitter.
Why It Matters: The account from which the $1 billion in cryptocurrency were moved is the world’s fourth-richest Bitcoin address, noted Bloomberg.
“I’m going to stick my neck out and suggest that there is a fair chance that these are Ross Ulbricht’s bitcoins,” Robinson said in a separate tweet.
“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,” the Elliptic co-founder said. The Silk Road website was shut down by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation in Oct. 2013.
Bitcoin gained over 3% on Election Day in the United States after having touched the $14,000 level.
Price Action: Bitcoin traded 3.6% higher at $13,885.86 at press time.
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