On Wednesday, Ars reported that someone had transferred close to $1 billion in bitcoin out of a wallet likely associated with the Silk Road crime bazaar. Now we know who that mystery party is: the US Department of Justice, which in 2013 shut down Silk Road and went on to put its founder, Ross Ulbricht, behind bars for life.
Okay, so Uncle Sam is so deep in debt that he needed a quick, criminally obtained, $1 billion bucks. Rather than destroy the money, why not spend it? I mean, after all, it's a great source of income, eh?
The seizure came two days after blockchain analysts (WHO?????)noticed someone had transferred 69,369 BTC—worth about $975 million—out of an account that had received them from Silk Road. The wallet, which remained quiet since 2015, was the world’s fourth biggest.
Hey, if some bad guy can pull money out like that, why not Uncle Sam? SEIZE the MONEY!!!
In intriguing details that sound like they’re straight out of a crime novel, the complaint said that a mysterious hacker identified only as Individual X was responsible for transferring the bitcoin out of Silk Road coffers.
According to the investigation, Individual X was able to hack into Silk Road and gain unauthorized and illegal access to the illegal Silk Road and thereby illegally steal the illegal cryptocurrency from illegal Silk Road and illegally move it into wallets that Individual X controlled. According to the investigation, Ulbricht became aware of Individual X’s online identity and threatened Individual X for return of the cryptocurrency to Ulbricht.
Silk Road used a so-called “tumbler” to process Bitcoin transactions to frustrate tracking transactions. If a buyer makes a payment on Silk Road, the tumbler obscures any link between the buyer’s Bitcoin address and the vendor’s Bitcoin address making it fruitless to follow the money trail involved in the transaction‚ even if the buyer’s and vendor’s Bitcoin addresses are both known.
“Criminal proceeds should not remain in the hands of the thieves,” said Internal Revenue Service... Through CI’s [Criminal Investigation] expertise in following the money, we were able to track down the illicit funds.”
And spend them.