$2 Billion Worth of Seized Silk Road Bitcoin Moved Ahead of Potential US Government Sale

Several blockchain analytics firms reported that a US government account holding nearly $2 billion worth of Bitcoin seized from the former dark web market Silk Road completed multiple transactions on Tuesday. The transfers are seen as a precursor to an expected liquidation of the assets by authorities.

The digital wallet, which initially contained 30,174 Bitcoin, sent around $65 in a test transaction to the deposit address of Coinbase Prime, the prime services unit of crypto exchange Coinbase. Arkham Intelligence said the test was followed by roughly $131 million in total transfers to Coinbase on Tuesday, with most funds moved between different government-associated addresses.

Parker Merritt from Coin Metrics analyzed the $65 transaction, telling Bloomberg that “The small amount is being sent to Coinbase Prime, while the large amount is being credited back to the US government as a ‘change output.’ Most likely, they will follow up by sending a larger (possibly the full) amount to Coinbase Prime, having confirmed the test transaction arrived.”

Flipside Crypto reported that after the test, several government addresses consolidated and shifted around 2,000 Bitcoin to Coinbase. Digital wallet addresses are typically anonymous.

Crypto markets have been monitoring the government’s Bitcoin holdings from the notorious Silk Road case closely. Any significant sales could impact Bitcoin’s price. Authorities have auctioned portions of the seized assets before. The recent transactions come as Bitcoin has surged over 50% in 2023 amid a broader rally in crypto prices.

The Silk Road website was shut down by federal agents in 2013 after it facilitated over $1.2 billion in illegal transactions and generated $80 million in commissions over less than three years. Its operator, Ross Ulbricht, is serving a life sentence.

Information for this story was found via Bloomberg, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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