cybercrime news

The United States has transferred $2 billion in seized Bitcoin from Silk Road


- The wallet labeled as belonging to the United States specifically transferred a total of 30,174.7 BTC.
- Certain cryptocurrency experts interpret this action as a favorable indication of the United States' perspective on cryptocurrencies.
- Additionally, the U.S. government transferred previously confiscated Silk Road BTC during the previous year.

According to on-chain data, a digital wallet that has been recognized by various blockchain analysis firms and crypto analysts as being owned by the United States government has recently transferred a substantial amount of Bitcoin (BTC) that was confiscated from the infamous darknet Silk Road website in late 2021. The transferred value of these Bitcoin holdings amounts to billions.

On Tuesday, a number of blockchain analysts verified that the U.S. government had transferred over 30,000 BTC, which had been seized from the Silk Road hack, to a Coinbase deposit address. According to blockchain data, the wallet holding the funds relocated a sum of 30,174.7 BTC, equivalent to approximately $2.09 billion at present market rates.

In November 2021, a substantial sum of over $3 billion in Bitcoin was confiscated from the hacker James Zhong. Zhong confessed to the act of appropriating digital currency from the dark web, which was originally established by Ross Ulbricht, currently serving two life sentences. In contrast, Zhong received a comparatively lenient sentence of one year and one day for his theft of approximately 50,000 Bitcoins from the Silk Road.

Renowned blockchain researcher ZachXBT suggested that the observed activity might have been a potential "test transfer." According to data provided by blockchain analytics firm Arkham Intelligence, the wallets involved in the transaction were identified as "U.S. Government: Silk Road DOJ Confiscated Funds" for both the sender and the recipient.

Although this is not the initial occurrence of a U.S. government wallet transferring confiscated funds, certain cryptocurrency enthusiasts and experts on X (previously known as Twitter) regarded this action as a significant change in Washington's perspective towards Bitcoin, which has developed over the past few years.

Jerlis Michael, the founder of mining pool, expressed that this action signifies a confident belief from government entities in the liquidity and infrastructure of cryptocurrencies. Michael van De Poppe, the founder and CEO of MN Trading Consultancy, views this progress as a favorable indication since it will reintroduce BTC into the market.

The most recent instance of the U.S. government transferring Silk Road funds occurred in mid-2023. During this transaction, 9,825 Bitcoin valued at approximately $301 million were transferred to new addresses.

In recent weeks, the United States has undertaken the relocation of a portion of its confiscated funds. Specifically, it has transferred approximately $922 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) from wallets that previously contained funds originating from the $4.5 billion breach of the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex in 2016.

The transfer happened on the same day that Bitcoin (BTC) surpassed the $60,000 milestone for the first time in over two years, whether by coincidence or not. The day prior, Ilya Lichtenstein, the hacker responsible for the Bitfinex breach, appeared in court to provide testimony regarding his unauthorized access to the exchange's system.