$2B in Silk Road Bitcoin seized by DOJ moves to new wallet

Roughly $2 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) previously seized by United States authorities and connected to the Silk Road marketplace has moved to a new address.

According to data from the blockchain on April 2, a wallet known to be associated with the U.S. Justice Department made a 0.001 BTC transaction to a Coinbase Prime address — possibly as a test transaction. Shortly thereafter, the same wallet transferred 30,174 BTC, or roughly $2 billion at the time of publication, to a new address. Online sleuths identified the DOJ wallet as that containing Bitcoin seized from James Zhong, who in 2022 was convicted of charges connected to “unlawfully obtained” crypto from Silk Road.

Zhong stole more than 50,000 BTC from Silk Road in 2012. In 2021, U.S. authorities raided his property and discovered hard wallets containing Bitcoin, including one “on a single-board computer that was submerged under blankets in a popcorn tin.” The bulk of the seized crypto was sent to the same address that moved more than 30,000 BTC on April 2.

Related: US Justice Department charges KuCoin and two founders with violating AML laws

In March 2023, U.S. government authorities reported they had sold roughly 9,861 BTC of the crypto seized from Zhong for more than $215 million, leaving roughly 40,000 BTC. The April 2 transaction followed the price of Bitcoin dropping more than 7% to reach $65,475 at the time of publication.

The Silk Road marketplace, defunct for more than 10 years, allowed users to buy and sell illicit goods, including weapons, drugs and stolen credit card information. U.S. authorities arrested its creator, Ross Ulbricht, in 2013. He is serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Magazine: Bitcoin ETFs make Coinbase a ‘honeypot’ for hackers and governments: Trezor CEO

This is a developing story, and further information will be added as it becomes available.

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