US seizes bitcoins worth $1billion, the largest cryptocurrency haul in history

Edited By: Bharat Sharma WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Nov 10, 2020, 06:20 PM(IST)

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, are the digital currencies, aiming to transform economies into cashless societies. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The United States Justice Department recently seized thousands of bitcoins amounting up to over $1 billion, marking the largest haul related to the crypto-currency

The United States Justice Department recently seized thousands of bitcoins amounting up to over $1 billion, marking the largest haul related to the crypto-currency.

The department wants forfeiture of these bitcoins which were reportedly stolen from the defunct Silk Road marketplace on the dark web.

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In a statement, the US Justice Department said that this is the “largest seizure” relating to cryptocurrency in the department’s history.  

Reported first by Bloomberg, the cryptocurrency was unlawfully procured from Silk Road. In the statement, the investigators mentioned that they employed various software tools to identify 54 transactions undertaken by Silk Road.

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All of these transactions used bitcoins that were sourced from unlawful activity. Reportedly, the currency was stolen from Silk Road between 2012-2013.

According to the department’s statement, “Individual X had hacked the funds from Silk Road”. Following this, “law enforcement seized several thousand Bitcoins on November 3, 2020.  On November 4, 2020, the seized Bitcoin had a value of over $1 billion”, the statement added. 

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Court documents added that they were aware of Individual X’s identity, and that the person in question had kept the money, and earlier refused to return it. They had also not spent it.

But on November 3, the person in question signed a forfeiture agreement with the United States government, and the custody of that property was handed over to the US government on the same day.

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