Nearly USD 1 billion in bitcoin (BTC) believed to be from the infamous Silk Road darknet market moved today, for the first time in five years, claimed blockchain tracker Elliptic.
According to their report, BTC 69,369 – currently (8:16 UTC) worth USD 945.4m – has been moved out of the bitcoin address 1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx, which had had the fourth highest balance of any bitcoin address until that point.
The tracker found that “through blockchain analysis, we can determine that these funds likely originated from the Silk Road.” Co-founder of Elliptic, Tom Robinson, told Bloomberg he’s “about 60% confident that these funds are from the Silk Road at the moment — I’m not certain about it.”
In 2012, this BTC was moved out of the Silk Road’s wallet, at the time worth USD 350,000, and then moved to the above-stated address in 2013 after laying dormant for a year. Since then, said the report, the address went dormant again, save for BTC 101 transfer in 2015 to BTC-e, a crypto exchange for which the report claims was “favored by money launderers” then “taken down by US law enforcement in 2017.”
However, the team has warned that whoever moved the funds, and for whatever reason, “the funds are now on the move, and whoever now controls the bitcoins may want to cash them out,” urging exchanges to be on a lookout.
And speaking of which, Robinson told Bloomberg that it’s not clear if these BTC were moved by the founder, a vendor, or law enforcement. The report gave two possible explanations among others: