United States government authorities have moved $1 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC) to the American-based crypto exchange Coinbase.
U.S. Authorities Move 49,000 BTC to Coinbase
According to blockchain security firm PeckShield, which detected the transfer on Wednesday, the digital assets are part of the criminal proceeds confiscated from the Silk Road Dark Web, which operated from 2011 to 2013.
The dark-web marketplace allowed people to sell illegal properties, including drugs and other prohibited goods, before the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shut down its operations in 2013 and its owner Ross Ulbricht was later sentenced to life in prison.
In addition to buying and selling illicit goods and services, the online platform aided money laundering activities conducted by drug dealers.
While the black web marketplace only existed for a few years, the platform was used to launder billions of dollars within its short span.
In a Twitter announcement today, PeckShield said the BTC sent to Coinbase was stored in two separate wallets belonging to law enforcement after the seizure between March 2021 and November 2022.
Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice confiscated 51,351.9 BTC valued at around $3.36 billion at the time from James Zhong, who pleaded guilty one year later for unlawfully obtaining more than 50,000 bitcoin from the black market.
The virtual assets, 49,000 BTC, have now been moved to Coinbase in three batches, with the total transaction amounting to $1 billion.
While it is unclear whether the movement of assets to Coinbase will trigger a massive sell-off, the price of BTC took a swing backward after PeckShield’s disclosure on Twitter.
The crypto asset tumbled to $22,038 despite having maintained its $22,434 level since last week following the Silvergate saga and speculation that the upcoming creditor’s payout from the defunct exchange MT Gox on Friday could negatively impact the market.
The Tokyo-based exchange suffered a massive exploit in 2014, losing thousands of BTC belonging investors.
As part of its rehabilitation plan, the company’s creditors expect to receive 138 bitcoins in repayment for the BTC lost during the hack.
With the repayment on the way, crypto traders speculate that investors will dump the assets back into the market upon receipt, seeing that Bitcoin traded at $800 at the time.
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