The US Government Seized 69,369 Bitcoins Worth $1 Billion
According to Bloomberg’s report, the US Justice Department has seized 69,369 Bitcoins currently worth over $1 billion. Besides Bitcoins, the department also took holding Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin SV. It is the largest seizure of cryptocurrencies in the history of the Department of Justice.
These Bitcoins were stolen from the infamous dark web market Silk Road. As per the court documents, Ross Ulbricht, founder of Silk Road, became aware of the hacker’s online identity who stole these Bitcoins. Later on, through Ross Ulbricht, the government also became aware of the hacker’s identity. Ross Ulbricht is currently serving his sentence for being convicted of conspiracy to traffic narcotics & fraudulent identity documents, money laundering, and computer hacking.
However, the Department of Justice doesn’t reveal the hacker’s name, who had owned these Bitcoins. The court documents refer to the hacker as “Individual X.” It says he signed a Consent and Agreement to Forfeiture of cryptocurrencies stored in his wallet. The agreement mentions, “Individual X, consented to the forfeiture of the Defendant Property to the United States government.”
Further on, U.S. Attorney David Anderson said, “[t]he successful prosecution of Silk Road’s founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar question. Where did the money go? Today’s forfeiture complaint answers this open question, at least in part, $1 billion of these criminal proceeds are now in the United States’ possession.”
Just two days earlier, these 69,369 Bitcoins were moved from the Silk Road hacker’s wallet. In no time, it became sensational news for crypto enthusiasts as these funds moved from the fourth-largest bitcoin wallet. It’s only today we came to realize that the United States government owns these Bitcoins.