Silk Road, the infamous darknet marketplace known for selling illegal drugs and weapons back in the day is back in the news again amid Bitcoin’s bullish burst. US law enforcement authorities have managed to make their largest cryptocurrency bust after confiscating $1 billion worth of Bitcoin associated with the Silkroad.
U.S. Attorney David Anderson of the Northern District of California filed a civil complaint in which he mentioned,
“Silk Road was the most notorious online criminal marketplace of its day. The successful prosecution of Silk Road’s founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar question. Where did the money go?”
Silk Road at the peak of its business had over 100,000 buyers for over 13000 listings of illegal drugs and many other listings for various other services. The civil complaint estimated that the darknet marketplace managed to generate sales worth 9.5 million bitcoin at that point in time.
Silk Road was shut down back in 2013 by the US Federal authorities who also managed to arrest Ross Ulbricht, the operator of the darknet marketplace. In fact, Bitcoin gained momentum as a form of payment through the darknet marketplaces such as Silk Road.
Elliptic Spots The Movement Of Silk Road Affiliated Bitcoin
Elliptic, a London-based blockchain analytics firm was the first one to spot the movement of large sums of bitcoin from the world’s fourth-largest crypto wallet. The wallet moved 69,369 bitcoins estimated to be worth $1 billion in current value.
Apart from Elliptic a division of IRS specializing in tracing cryptocurrency transfers also found 54 transactions originating from Silk Road crypto wallets. The IRS then traced the 54 transactions to zero upon one specific bitcoin address that received all the funds from Silk Road wallets.
US authorities at the time of shutting down the marketplace seized thousands of bitcoin which they later auctioned to the public, but whatever they managed to confiscate at that time was just a very small fraction of the total revenue. It is still unclear where the rest of the bitcoin went.