The Silk Road market may be dead—we actually checked just to see if it came back somehow—but its wallet appears to be alive. Over a billion dollars in Bitcoin are being moved from several wallets that are all tied to the supposed original Silk Road cold storage wallet.
Reddit user sick_silk brought this to the public’s attention after publishing all of his research on the activity connected to Silk Road over the last three days. It turns out that whoever possesses the 60,000 coins—now worth around $422 million—is moving them quickly to several addresses, loading each with exactly 100 coins.
The process took several steps, each one creating a new Bitcoin wallet and splitting the coins into two groups of 30,000, three groups of 20,000, and so on, and so forth. The splits were done in a deliberately staggered manner that spanned four years, indicating that this isn’t the work of someone who is inexperienced with moving large amounts of money around without arousing suspicion.
What’s more, it doesn’t appear that the wallet is accounted for by the FBI. Although the organization managed to confiscate a sizeable wallet from Silk Road, it wasn’t the only address the dark web marketplace possessed.
It seems as if though the wallet that originated all of these 100-coin batches (1933phfhK3ZgFQNLGSDXvqCn32k2buXY8a) isn’t known to the FBI.
This is supported by the fact that Ross Ulbricht, the person who was actually convicted for running Silk Road, wasn’t the only person who ever ran the site. Others, who may have been more adept at evading the FBI, may have had control of this particular wallet.
Another possibility is that this wallet is a Mt. Gox cold storage we were not aware of until now. Earlier this year, the exchange’s cold wallet accounts moved Bitcoin around to pay off its creditors.
There’s just one thing that doesn’t add up in this particular theory: My. Gox consolidated funds from other wallets and then sent large chunks to another address. In this particular movement, we’re seeing the exact opposite.
Whatever this is, it’s doubtful that the FBI is involved, as a government institution wouldn’t have a reason to split coins and move them around in such a deliberate and staggered manner.