Nearly $1 billion worth of bitcoins connected to the illegal darknet website “Silk Road” are on the move, according to blockchain tracker Elliptic, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
What Happened: 69,369 bitcoins were moved out of a wallet linked to the Ross William Ulbricht-run website that once facilitated the sale of drugs and access to services like murder-for-hire, Bloomberg reported.
It is not clear if the funds are being moved by the owner of Silk Road, law enforcement, or a vendor, Tom Robinson, co-founder of Elliptic told Bloomberg.
“I’d say I’m about 60% confident that these funds are from the Silk Road at the moment— I’m not certain about it,” Robinson said.
“A copy of the encrypted wallet file is reportedly being circulated - if someone cracked the password they could seize the bitcoins. The owner of the wallet has perhaps moved the BTC to a new wallet to prevent this,” said Robinson on Twitter.
Why It Matters: The account from which the $1 billion in cryptocurrency were moved is the world’s fourth-richest Bitcoin address, noted Bloomberg.
“I'm going to stick my neck out and suggest that there is a fair chance that these are Ross Ulbricht's bitcoins,” Robinson said in a separate tweet.
“Ross is currently serving a double life sentence for his role in creating the Silk Road. Whether they are still under his control is another matter,” the Elliptic co-founder said. The Silk Road website was shut down by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation in Oct. 2013.
Bitcoin gained over 3% on Election Day in the United States after having touched the $14,000 level.
Price Action: Bitcoin traded 3.6% higher at $13,885.86 at press time.
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