$1B in BTC tied to US law enforcement seizures gets transferred to Coinbase: Report
- 49,000 Bitcoin were transferred to Coinbase by US government law enforcement from the Silk Road criminal proceeds.
- This news was verified by on-chain data provider Glassnode, also noting that the majority (so far) look to be internal transfers but that 9,861 BTC was sent to a Coinbase cluster.
One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase, received $1 billion value of Bitcoin that the US government’s law enforcement had taken from the Silk Road. The transfer of the BTC that was confiscated in November 2021 and March 2022 was discovered by a blockchain security company.
Due to concerns over persistent inflation and aggressive remarks from U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) head Jerome Powell, the price of bitcoin is under significant pressure.
PeckShield, a blockchain security company, was the first to disclose that 49,000 BTC worth $1.08 billion that were recovered from the Silk Road hacker were transferred to addresses connected to the US government today.
Glassnode, a well-known platform for monitoring the cryptocurrency market, has also detected an odd Bitcoin movement. The majority of transactions were internal, including the sending of nearly 10,000 BTC to Coinbase. Government officials reportedly moved 40,000 BTC in total, according to Glassnode.
Silk Road was a black market network infamous for its money laundering operations. Ross Ulbricht founded it in 2011, and US authorities closed it down in 2013 under allegations of criminal activity. Ulbricht, who is presently receiving a life sentence for the crime, was found to be the owner of the BTC after a series of investigations and home searches.
Before the marketplace was shut down, Silk Road encountered a hack in which 69,370 BTC were stolen. In November 2020, the government seized these Bitcoins, and Ulbricht forfeited all ownership of them and used them to make the reparation.
The chart below, which was also provided by Glassnode, shows the estimated Bitcoin balance of the US government.
The development has sparked a debate about the U.S. government’s broader plan with its cryptocurrency holdings. While some have proposed that the transfers simply result from the administration’s continuing asset management, others have argued that the government may be contemplating selling off its holdings when the market is at a high.