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U.S. Authorities Move $2 Billion in Seized Silk Road Bitcoin to New Address in Major Transaction

On April 2, blockchain data revealed a significant transaction involving $2 billion in Bitcoin previously confiscated by the U.S. government, linked to the infamous Silk Road marketplace.

Initially, a minor transaction of 0.001 BTC was sent from a wallet associated with the U.S. Justice Department to a Coinbase Prime address, likely a test move.

This was followed by a substantial transfer of 30,174 BTC to a new address. Internet investigators traced the origin of this large transaction back to a wallet holding Bitcoin seized from James Zhong.

Zhong, convicted in 2022 for illegally acquiring cryptocurrency from Silk Road, had amassed over 50,000 BTC through illicit means from the platform in 2012.

In a dramatic 2021 raid on Zhong’s residence, U.S. officials unearthed Bitcoin wallets hidden in unconventional places, including one ingeniously concealed within a popcorn tin under blankets.

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The majority of these confiscated cryptocurrencies were then consolidated into the wallet that executed the April 2 transfer.

Prior to this transaction, in March 2023, the U.S. government disclosed the sale of approximately 9,861 BTC, obtained from Zhong, for over $215 million.

This sale reduced the holdings from the seizure to about 40,000 BTC. The movement of funds coincided with a significant drop in Bitcoin’s value, which fell over 7% to $65,475 at the time of the report.

Silk Road, a marketplace operational over a decade ago, was notorious for facilitating the sale of illegal goods such as drugs, weapons, and stolen credit card data.

Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind behind Silk Road, was apprehended by U.S. law enforcement in 2013 and is currently serving two life sentences without parole.

The recent transaction underscores ongoing efforts by authorities to manage and liquidate assets tied to digital crime, illustrating the complex intersection of cryptocurrency and law enforcement.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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