US government seizes over $ 1 billion worth of bitcoins linked to closed Darknet market The silk way And prosecutes for misappropriation of funds.
This case is the largest cryptocurrency seizure in history, and this week explains why Bitcoins changed hands. There were researchers Transferred to public blockchain It was speculated that this may have been due to an unknown Silk Road co-conspirator attempting to extort money or being stolen by financial hackers.
In fact, the Department of Justice claims to have discovered a person who is the real holder of the fund, called “Personal X,” in 2015 through efforts to dismantle a small portion of the money. “On 23 April 2015, [the bitcoin account] 101 Bitcoin (approximately 7,23,700) was sent to PTC-E, a Bitcoin-related services provider and operating as an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange, ”the criminal complaint states.
“Silk Road was the worst online criminal market of its day,” said U.S. Attorney David Anderson. “The successful lawsuit against the founder of Silk Road in 2015 opened up a $ 1 billion question. Where did the money go? Today’s confiscation complaint answers at least part of this open question. Crime now holds $ 1 billion in U.S. criminal revenue.”
Individual X complains that “whose identity the government knows” does not work on Silk Road. Instead, “Personal X was able to hack into Silk Road and gain unauthorized and illegal access to Silk Road, thereby stealing illegal cryptocurrency from Silk Road and moving it to Personal X-controlled wallets.
“According to the investigation, [Ross Ulbricht, the now jailed founder of the site] Personal X learned of online identity and threatened to return cryptocurrency to Ulfrich. The individual did not return the X cryptocurrency, but kept it and did not spend it. ”
The complaint, officially named in the “United States of America and Approximately 69,370 Bitcoin” section, requires DoJ to prove in court that the seized cryptocurrency is being confiscated, i.e. the proceeds of a criminal offense.
Kelly R. Jackson, special agent for the IRS Criminal Investigation (CI), said: “Criminal income should not be in the hands of thieves. Through the CIA’s expertise in pursuing money, it was possible to find illegal funds. The Washington D.C. cybercrime unit is unique in detecting virtual currency transactions, and we will continue to improve our capabilities to combat illegal activities. ”
Zionalysis, a blockchain analytics firm that assisted the government in its investigation, said: “Earlier this year, IRS-CI agents used Synalysis to analyze Bitcoin transactions activated by the Silk Road and identified 54 previously undetected bitcoin transactions representing the returns of illegal activity. They also discovered that a hacker known as Personal X had stolen the funds from Silk Road.
“According to Synolysis data, the Silk Road accounted for almost 20% of total Bitcoin economic activity at its peak in 2013. Silk Road’s economic activity reached a total of $ 435 million (calculated based on the price of Bitcoin at that time) to $ 40 million per month in September 2013.”
The b 1 billion value of the seizure is equal to the total value of all cash and cash equivalents seized by the federal government in 2015, the most recent year records available.