Earlier this week someone moved nearly a billion dollars worth of bitcoin (69,369 BTC ) from a wallet address that hadn't been active since 2015. Speculation was rampant about who it could be. Kim Jong Un? An Eastern European crime syndicate? Hackers who cracked the password (they'd been brute force attacking it for years)? Well, according to Vice, the mystery has been solved: the Feds took the BTC from a hacker who swiped it from Silk Road in 2012 or 2013.
"Silk Road was the most notorious online criminal marketplace of its day," U.S. Attorney David Anderson said in a press release. "The successful prosecution of Silk Road's founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar question. Where did the money go? Today's forfeiture complaint answers this open question at least in part. $1 billion of these criminal proceeds are now in the United States' possession."
In the civil forfeiture complaint, Anderson explained that the government took control of the wallet on Monday, after an unnamed hacker agreed to forfeit the cryptocurrency. The hacker, who is only identified as "Individual X," allegedly broke into Silk Road's website and stole the bitcoin in 2012 or 2013. The hacker then transferred to the infamous wallet with the address "1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx," according to the complaint.
The wallet in question was the fourth largest on Bitcoin's blockchain (see image above, from The Block)