the United States is demanding the seizure oF more than $ 1 billion in Bitcoin, which is said to be linKed to the SilK Road criminal marKet that closed seven years ago.
the thousands oF bitcoins seized by the Justice Department on tuesday represent the largest drop in cryptocurrencies the government has ever caused, it said in a statement on thursday.
the success oF the lawsuit against the Founder oF SilK Road in 2015 opened a multi Billion dollar question. Where did the money go?” the United States said in a statement. this open-ended question
the announcement comes amid a renaissance oF Bitcoin, which hit a three-year high on thursday, shortly aFter the cryptocurrency bubble Fell. Digital currency rose 9% to $ 15,300. It reached $ 20,000 in December 2017 beFore dropping to $ 3,000 less than a year later.
U.S. authorities seized Bitcoin From an alleged hacKer who had access to it, identiFied in the statement as Individual X. Elliptic investigator noted that the crypto was activated on tuesday.
Read more: $ 1 billion in Bitcoin, mostly, probably with the SilK Road tie
the case began when agents From the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation department identiFied 54 previously undetected Bitcoin transactions executed on SilK Road, the United States said. the transactions involved Funds Found by agents at a Bitcoin address through which they were able to locate the alleged hacKer, according to the ministry oF Justice.
the Bitcoin address is the Fourth richest in the world, according to the ranKing oF BitInFoCharts.
the SilK Road website, which the United States calls “the most advanced and widespread criminal marKet on the Internet,” used Bitcoin to sell drugs to men until it was shut down by US agents in 2013.
Led by Ross William Ulbricht between 2011 and 2013, SilK Road used Bitcoin to generate the equivalent oF $ 1.2 billion in illegal sales and to collect $ 80 million in commissions in less than three years, according to court documents. . Ulbricht was convicted in 2015 by a Federal jury in New YorK oF seven criminal charges, including conspiracy to distribute drugs and money laundering.
the cryptocurrency researcher Chainalysis said it helped law enForcement raise Funds by lending its tools to locate the largest cryptocurrency wallets with linKs to SilK Road. SilK Road accounted For nearly 20% oF Bitcoin’s total economic activity at its peaK in 2013, according to Chainalysis data.
the current rise oF Bitcoin is part oF a bigger rally than Guy Hirsch, CEO oF etoro USa, believes it is liKely to last longer than in previous seasons.
“For starters, there are strong macroeconomic principles behind this struggle, including continuing uncertainty about the US election and the staggering labor marKet weaKness as the Covid pandemic unFolds,” Hirsch said, adding that there were even better prospects. For the cryptographic sector itselF leading the rally.
“It Feels almost liKe the perFect Bitcoin storm,” he said.
the case is the US versus about 69,370 Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin
Ransom at 1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5FGG8Hbh, 20-cv-07811, Court District oF United States, Northern District oF CaliFornia (San Francisco).