Key points to remember
- A wallet associated with funds seized from Silk Road moved $1.08 billion in BTC.
- The address moved 39,174 BTC to two new wallets and 9,825 BTC to a wallet believed to be owned by Coinbase.
- The funds were originally seized from Silk Road exploiter James Zhong in November 2021.
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The DOJ may have sent some of the funds seized from Silk Road to Coinbase, but that doesn’t mean they’re about to be liquidated.
$1.08 billion in BTC
It looks like some of the Silk Road bitcoins are on the move.
On-chain data shows that a Bitcoin wallet address associated with the US government moved around 49,000 BTC yesterday, a sum worth around $1.08 billion at the time of writing.
The address, which begins with BC1QMXtransferred approximately 9,000 BTC ($199 million) to an address beginning in BC1QEthen 30,174 BTC ($667 million) to a second address beginning in BC1QFand 9,825 BTC ($217 million) to a third address from 367 years. Just over 825 bitcoins ($18 million) remain at the original address.
According to the chain security company PeckShieldthe originating address belongs to the US government, which uses the wallet to store a portion of the 50,676 BTC ($1.12 billion) it grasped from Silk Road exploiter James Zhong in November 2021. Zhong obtained the sum by exploiting the darknet market’s withdrawal mechanism in September 2012. He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in November 2022.
The first two addresses, which received a combined total of 39,174 BTC, were freshly created. However, PeckShield identified the third address (367YO) as belonging to US-based crypto exchange Coinbase. Bitcoin on-chain analytics company glass knot and on-chain analysis company Search on the channel both echoed PeckShield’s findings. Crypto Briefing has not been able to independently verify ownership of the wallet.
The transferred funds sparked speculation on Twitter that the Justice Department may be looking to sell some of the bitcoins it sent to Coinbase. This, however, seems unlikely, as the US government has always opted to liquidate its bitcoin holdings through public auctions.
Disclosure: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned BTC, ETH, and several other crypto assets.