An anonymous crypto user was revealed to have moved 69,370 Bitcoins (BTC) from an address linked to the Silk Road darknet market. The massive transaction recorded since April 2015 is valued at $1 billion.
Ciphertrace identified the movement on the Bitcoin network. According to their report, the user first sent 1 BTC, most likely as a test transaction, before moving the bulk of the coins. The blockchain analytics and intelligence firm theorised the new transaction was made to switch between old and new address formats.
Be that as it may, the firm did not rule out the angle of a possible hacking attack. They further added that they are monitoring the addresses for any other movement.
‘While it is most probable that these transactions were made to stay up to date with the Bitcoin network, there is also some speculation that the wallet could have been cracked by hackers’, Ciphertrace said in a statement. ‘These movements could possibly mean that the wallet owner is moving funds to new addresses to prevent hackers from accessing the wallet.dat file or that hackers have already cracked the file’.
Moreover, the Silk Road funds were held in a wallet that has been moving around among hackers for more than two years. The BTC wallet allegedly has access to all Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (BSV) associated with the tokens’ hard forks.
Last September, a Twitter user claimed to have the wallet.dat file and called on the crypto community for solutions on how to gain access to more than 69,000 coins. They also made a suggestion involving a quantum computer to determine the private key.
Silk Road was the first darknet market on the web, best known for trade of illicit goods such as weapons, stolen credit card data, and most notably, illegal drugs. It was launched in February 2011 by Ross Ulbricht. In 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shut the website down and arrested the founder.
Ulbricht is currently serving two life sentences without parole for 7 charges including money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics. However, he still posts periodic analyses on the Bitcoin market from prison.
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