HomeCryptoBitcoinBitcoin seized for $1 billion from Silk Road

Bitcoin seized for $1 billion from Silk Road

The biggest Bitcoin seizure in history: they are those of Silk Road, for a total of one billion dollars and they were confiscated yesterday by the United States Department of Justice.

The same DOJ, which had been investigating the funds that disappeared after the closure of Silk Road, gave the news about it. 

It is likely that they are the same funds moved from the Silk Road wallets in recent days. In fact, the figure is the same. 

According to the official document, these funds were allegedly handed over by an alleged “Individual X” to the feds themselves. Although his identity has not been revealed, US agents say they know him and also Ross Ulbricht (founder of Silk Road) knew the man who in 2013 would have taken more than 69,000 bitcoin from him, now seized. It is unclear what convinced individual X to cooperate. What is certain is that he contributed to the biggest Bitcoin seizure in history. After all, as explained by the prosecutor David Anderson of the Northern District of California  

“Silk Road was the most notorious online criminal marketplace of its day. The successful prosecution of Silk Road’s founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar question. Where did the money go?”

Silk Road, a symbol of Bitcoin’s history

Silk Road is linked to the negative reputation that Bitcoin has unfortunately gained, that of being the currency for illicit trade on the dark web

Silk Road was in fact active from 2011 until October 2013, when it was closed down due to the intervention of the judicial authorities. It was a marketplace where everything could be bought, from drugs to weapons. 

According to the US authorities, it would have been used by 100,000 buyers and would have made it possible to launder hundreds of millions of dollars. Not only were there all kinds of possible drugs, from cannabis to ecstasy, but also various services such as hacking Facebook or Twitter accounts, or even ATM machines. 

The means of payment was Bitcoin. According to surveys, sales totalling over 9.5 million Bitcoin were made, and Silk Road would have earned about 600,000 Bitcoin from these transactions. 

Since the seizure, culminating in the arrest of founder Ross Ulbricht, agents have been tracking the money, monitoring at least 54 suspicious transactions. Until yesterday’s seizure. 

It remains to be seen now what will happen to the seized BTC, which are usually auctioned. At a time like this when demand for Bitcoin increases and the price of the asset also, it is safe to assume that the “loot” could be highly sought after.


Eleonora Spagnolo
Eleonora Spagnolo
Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.