Bitcoin has been associated with multiple underground networks since its inception and has become the pariah of law enforcement agencies. The Silk Road, an illegal marketplace dealing with multiple substances, is one of the biggest scandals associated with Bitcoin.
Since the arrest of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht in 2013, the dealings on the network has been very low-key. All that changed on November 5, when the United States Justice Department seized over $1 billion worth of Bitcoin via Silk Road connections.
According to the latest reports, the Justice Department was filing documents to seek forfeiture of the seized Bitcoin. The Department revealed that the capital was found in the possession of an unnamed hacker who had stolen the cryptocurrency from a dark web address. This Bitcoin capture came at a time when the world’s largest cryptocurrency was heading towards its all-time high at a rapid pace.
This was not the first time that the government has seized large quantities of cryptocurrencies as the database shows a repertoire of different cases. In earlier scenarios, the government had auctioned off all the cryptocurrencies involved in seizures. Officials from the Department of Justice stated that they would first need to prove in court that the Bitcoin worth $1 billion is subject to forfeiture.
The Justice Department made the case transparent via a statement that addressed the 70,000 stolen Bitcoin. The other cryptocurrencies involved in the transfer included Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Cash. The proceedings involved US Attorney David Anderson who gave his two cents on the situation. In his words:
“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? Today’s forfeiture complaint answers this open question at least in part. $1 billion of these criminal proceeds are now in the United States’ possession.”
As of now, the public only knows the hacker as Individual X with future proceedings expected to yield more information. Information about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has now become widespread with government agencies learning every day. Only time will tell how well the mainstream world and the virtual asset world will integrate with one another.