This week was not at all only about the presidential elections in the USA. During the same night, someone allegedly emptied a digital wallet containing "approximately 69,370.22491543 Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), obtained from 1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbh." That’s almost $1 billion!
69,370.22491543 BTC finally found!
After thorough investigations, it seems like it was a Transfer related to the previously closed darknet market Silk Road.
Silk Road was shut down by the Department of Justice back in 2013, after discovering that it was offering their clients services in different illegal schemes starting with drugs, malware, killings.
After the Ross Ulbricht, the site founder arrest and trial in 2015, everyone was asking themselves where did the money go? After five years, David Anderson, USA prosecutor, still had a goal – to find the hidden Bitcoin. DoJ found them recently and confiscated them. It is the largest crypto seizure in history.
According to the official documents, Silky Road operators were operating their transactions via tumbler-service that was a bit problematic to follow. Initially, they managed to seize only 174,000 BTC, but they knew that over the years, the commissions were up to 600,000 BTC.
assisted in the investigation, provided additional details along with the following graphic showing the account flow
The DoJ was assisted in the investigation Chainalysis provided additional details, showing the account flow along with the graphic below. Since 2013, 54 transactions (70,411.46 BTC), were sent to two addresses. Later investigations concluded that these amounts of money were hacked, stolen, and sent to the 1HQ3. The hacker tried to liquidate the crypto from the wallet back in 2015 via another exchange that was later closed by DoJ for money laundering.
For more than two years, the hacker moved the funds to new addresses to prevent hackers from accessing the wallet.dat file or that hackers have already cracked the file. Last month, a Twitter user claimed to have the wallet.dat file for the wallet but didn't know how to gain access to the 69,370 BTC.
The account flow in the last 5 years. Source: arstechnica.com
The investigators named the hacker linked to the wallet and the transactions, in the official documents, as Individual X.
Also, the investigation revealed that Ulbricht identified the hacker and tried to blackmail him into returning the BTC. The hacker kept them but never spent a dime, and this week, Individual X agreed to sign over the funds to DoJ.
Currently, the Bitcoin price is $15,151.48.