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The operations of the Silk Road were short-lived as US Authorities were able to obtain enough evidence through masked purchases of items on the site, giving the perfect shreds of evidence to close down the site.
The United States government has seized about $1 billion worth of Bitcoin from the defunct online dark marketplace Silk Road. As reported by CNBC, the seizure of the Bitcoin and its related forked digital currencies including Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), and Bitcoin Gold (BTG) have been described as the largest seizure operation for any cryptocurrency the Department of Justice has ever conducted.
The authorities clamped down on the Silk Road back in 2013 after being in operation since 2011. The platform is gleaned from the Court Documents and is seen on the Court Listener. “From 2011 until October 2013, when it was seized by law enforcement, Silk Road was the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet, serving as a sprawling black-market bazaar where unlawful goods and services, including illegal drugs of virtually all varieties, were bought and sold regularly by the site’s users,” the document reads.
The operations of the Silk Road were short-lived as US Authorities in an undercover operation were able to obtain enough evidence through masked purchases of items on the site, giving the perfect shreds of evidence to close down the site. The Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht was subsequently arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Billion Dollar Bitcoin Assets from Silk Road
Per the breakdown of the now confiscated crypto assets, 69,370.22491543 is in Bitcoin (BTC), 69,370.12818037 domiciled in Bitcoin Cash (BCH), 69,370.10730857 in Bitcoin Gold (BTG), and 69,370.10710518 in Bitcoin SV (BSV)
As recorded by the Court Listener, the amount which totaled the US$1 billion represents the cash locked up on the Silk Road since 2013 which would have been used to facilitate illegal substance purchase or such amount as held up in money laundered from the purchase of over 13,000 listed items to about 100,000 customers.
The clampdown on the funds came following the call by the London-based blockchain analysis firm Elliptic, who noted that about 69,369 BTC has been moved from a Bitcoin wallet which could either be that of Ulbricht or some other Silk Road Vendor.
Elliptic co-founder and Chief Scientist, Tom Robinson noted that the fund movement may not have been initiated by Ulbricht as the likelihood of initiating a Bitcoin transaction from prison is low. CNBC reported that the Bitcoin transaction or movement was tracked by an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) unit in charge of tracing virtual currency transactions and the unit was able to discover up to 54 other transactions traceable to the Silk Road.
The US authorities seek permanent forfeiture of the Bitcoin assets which has grown in value remarkable, particularly with Bitcoin currently trading at $15 748.41 its highest high since January 2018. The authorities will still have to justify the demand for permanent forfeiture before a judge before it can be given permanent control of the funds.