The US government’s transfer of its Silk Road Bitcoin reserve has sparked speculation that it may be planning to sell the assets.
According to information from the Bitcoin block explorer, the Department of Justice (DOJ) transferred $300 million worth of BTC to new addresses in a sequence of transactions on Wednesday.
The DOJ’s biggest significant seizure to date, $3.36 billion worth of BTC, was the likely cause of the most recent move.
James Zhong, a hacker who confessed to stealing digital assets from the illegal Silk Road trade, was captured by federal enforcement in November 2021.
50,676 bitcoins, which at the time were valued at $3.36 billion, were seized by the government. Since then, the government has been progressively selling off some of the stock.
They announced their desire to sell an additional $1.1 billion worth of BTC after successfully selling $215 million worth of it in March.
The holdings of 30,174.7 BTC that are not currently linked to the batch of transactions from July 12 appear to have generated a profit of $237,934,919 for one account connected to batch transactions made on March 7, 2023.
The coins were instead split across 101 accounts by another account that got 9,825.6 BTC from the DOJ during the batch on March 7.
Later, the same account combined with 599 other accounts to pay an additional 0.1 BTC to a different account, which then distributed its remaining 51 BTC across 37 addresses.
An anonymous online black market called Silk Road allowed users to buy and sell illegal products.
The dark web, which consists of anonymous networks accessible only through specialised software like Tor Browser, was used for its operation.
The US Has a Promising History of Seizing Stolen Cryptocurrency Funds
In addition to recovering the stolen Bitcoin from Silk Road, the US has also been successful in locating stolen money associated with a number of other significant crypto heists.
The 2016 hack of the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex was linked to the recovery and seizure of $3.6 billion worth of Bitcoin by the US government last year.
In addition to the Silk Road-related confiscation, the US government’s Bitcoin supply totals more than 1% of the 21 million bitcoins in the Botal blockchain.
In the past, investors have purchased Bitcoin that the US Justice Department had seized through auctions, which had little to no effect on the market.