This week, on the night of the US presidential election, the cryptocurrency community drew attention to a huge transfer — someone emptied the Bitcoin wallet 1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx, which contained about a billion US dollars.
While netizens were building wild theories about who did it and why — it turned out that the wallet was associated with the Silk Road darknet marketplace, which was closed by the FBI back in 2013 and arrested its founder, Ross Ulbricht — sentenced to double life imprisonment in 2015.
If you don’t know, the Silk Road marketplace offered its users a variety of illegal goods and services, ranging from drugs and malware and ending with contract killings.
Law enforcement officers discovered that Silk Road previously owned this one billion dollar in cryptocurrency, and a hacker is said to have stolen from Ulbricht in 2012 or 2013. Also, in 2015, an unnamed hacker tried to liquidate some of the stolen funds through the BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange, which was eventually closed by the US authorities for money laundering.
Now the US Justice Department has been able to confiscate a digital wallet. According to reports, the US Department of Justice has taken over 69,370.22491543 bitcoins, which are now worth over a billion dollars.
According to Wired, when the FBI shut down the Silk Road platform, the investigators confiscated 144,000 crypto coins, which were auctioned for around 48 million dollars in 2014 and 2015 — now their value is over two billion dollars. But now, at least another billion dollars is flowing into the pockets of the US government.