Police Seize Nearly $1 Billion From Silk Road’s Hoard

This week, somebody transferred 69,369 BTC from a wallet believed to belong to the former owners of the Silk Road black market that was closed in 2013.

Although briefly brought back as Silk Road 2.0, the final nail in the coffin came on the 6th of November 2014 – exactly a year after the second iteration went online.

The wallet on the receiving end of the transaction was unknown until recently  – but the US Department of Justice confirmed in a press release on the 5th of November that they were behind it.

Ever since Paul Leslie Howard – an Australian national who was the first individual to be convicted of Silk Road-related crimes – was arrested and subsequently convicted for drug offences, law enforcement officials worldwide have been scrambling to confiscate assets that resulted from Silk Road’s sale of illicit drugs and other illegal merchandise.


Individual X

Five years after Ross Ulbricht – the creator of Silk Road – was sentenced to life behind bars, the Criminal Investigation division of the IRS managed to track down a stash of 69,369 BTC. Located in the world’s 4th biggest wallet, no transactions had been carried out involving it – until now.

It turns out a hacker – who goes by the online moniker “Individual X” – was the one who managed to take control of the crypto assets.

“According to the investigation, Individual X was able to hack into Silk Road and gain unauthorized and illegal access to Silk Road and thereby steal the illicit cryptocurrency from Silk Road and move it into wallets that Individual X controlled. According to the investigation, Ulbricht became aware of Individual X’s online identity and threatened Individual X for return of the cryptocurrency to Ulbricht.”

Individual X did not return the assets, in spite of the threats. He did, however, agree to transfer the funds to the US government, following an agreement with the San Francisco US Attorney’s Office.

Cristian Lipciuc

Cristian Lipciuc

Cristian Lipciuc is a blockchain journalist working with startup companies across multiple domains such as freelancing, app development & cryptocurrency. Cristian specializes in applied blockchain technologies, cryptocurrency integration, the adoption of new technologies by governments, and cybersecurity.

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