Who stole a billion dollars from this Bitcoin wallet?
A group of blockchain specialists revealed a research detailing the movement of nearly 70,000 Bitcoin from an account hosted on Silk Road, an operation of which multiple data is unknown. This is believed to be the fourth richest cryptocurrency address in the world.
It should be remembered that Silk Road was an online black market where all kinds of illegal services were offered, from drug sales to hit-and-go murders. This platform was closed by the U.S. government in 2013.
Authorities believe that threat actors with access to this online wallet could be mobilizing their assets, either to exchange these Bitcoins for cash or to keep them out of the reach of law enforcement. On the other hand, it is also possible that the authorities may be able to access this wallet through hacking activities or with the cooperation of a criminal with access.
Dr. Tom Robinson, co-founder of blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, mentions that this account had been inactive since 2015: “Analysis shows that these funds originated in a wallet linked to Silk Road in 2012.” On the other hand, Ross Ulbricht, creator of Silk Road, serves two life sentences in prison after being convicted of money laundering, hacking and conspiracy to traffic narcotics.
“These operations could be related to Ulbricht or any other Silk Road seller who is trying to move their funds to other platforms,” Robinson added. “However, we believe that Ulbricht is highly unlikely to be able to carry out these complex transactions from prison.”
The account has been circulating among hackers trying to get into the wallet since early September, says Alon Gal, chief technology officer at Hudson Rock. After suffering sharp falls, in January 2018 Bitcoin prices began to stabilize, reaching up to $13,000 in the most recent weeks, so interest in this wallet has begun to revive.
While this wallet might be in the interest of multiple hackers operating on the dark web, virtual asset specialist David Gerard believes it would be very difficult to sell such a large amount of Bitcoin: “Anyone trying to sell these cryptocurrencies would become a target of the authorities and the cybercriminal community; although it is difficult, it is not impossible to track a similar operation,” concludes the expert.