Nearly 10,000 bitcoin (BTC), traced back to the darknet marketplace Silk Road, are seemingly on the move as per two as-yet-unconfirmed transactions. This would mark the most significant shift of Silk Road-related funds in recent months.
Silk Road bitcoin on the move
Of this total, around 8,200 BTC are being reallocated to new wallets, with the rest potentially moving to what is referred to as “change wallets.”
However, the classification of this as a genuine fund movement remains a point of discussion, as these bitcoins might be returned to their source wallets, albeit under new addresses.
#Bitcoin initially supported by the drop in #USD post #CPI release, then dragged lower on news US Gov Silk Road BTC tokens moving pic.twitter.com/boWIOvLFQa— Todd Groth, CFA (@Tgroth8) July 12, 2023
The first transaction involved a minor 0.01 BTC being transferred to wallet “361yog,” and a more substantial 506 BTC moving to a change address. The origin of these funds can be traced back to two distinct wallets, one of which is predominantly responsible.
In the succeeding transaction, the same wallet, “361yog,” received 8,200 BTC, while another change address was designated to receive 1,118 BTC.
Both transactions employed a “replace by fee” (RBF) function, typically used to supersede a previous transaction by offering a higher fee and used to expedite Bitcoin transactions during periods of network congestion.
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Feds seized $3.36 billion worth of bitcoin linked to Silk Road darknet market
In the historical context of Silk Road-related bitcoins, the U.S. government seized over 50,000 BTC from an individual named James Zhong in November 2022.
Zhong, guilty of wire fraud, had illegally obtained the same amount of bitcoins from Silk Road in 2012.
In April, he received his sentencing. This seizure and other legal documentation pertaining to the founder of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, revealed information about corresponding bitcoin wallets, enabling blockchain analytics firms to monitor these addresses.
A similar movement of funds tied to Silk Road occurred in June.
However, it sparked debate over the actual control of these funds, with some speculating it to be under the U.S. government’s authority.
The wallet in question was indirectly linked to those mentioned in legal documents associated with the case. It showed similar ‘replace by fee’ characteristics.
In March, the U.S. government divested 9,861 BTC, stating plans to sell the remaining ones in four separate batches throughout the year.
The government still holds around 41,490 BTC from the seizure in the Zhong case. These coins are believed to be sold via Coinbase, a platform the SEC alleges operates as an unregistered securities exchange.
US will auction 41,000 bitcoin associated with Silk Road
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