Silk Road is the legendary marketplace on the dark web closed in 2014, founded by Ross Ulbricht, and involved in several trials for sale of illicit goods.
The wallet over time has continued to receive payments in Bitcoin Evolution, but it was not making transactions since 2015. Yesterday it sent almost 70,000 BTC to another address, SegWit type. It may also be a technical shift from a legacy wallet to a SegWit.
At the time of the transaction, the BTCs sent had a value of almost a billion dollars, making this one of the largest transactions ever on the Bitcoin blockchain in terms of volume in U.S. dollars.
Ross Ulbricht is currently in jail, as he was sentenced to a double life sentence for his role in the creation and management of Silk Road, so it is unlikely that he is the author of this transaction.
In prison he has access to the Internet, but he hardly has access to that wallet as well.
The FBI, at the time of closure, seized about 174,000 BTC from Ulbricht, later sold at auction by the U.S. government. Among these were not those stored on the wallet from which yesterday’s billion dollar transaction started.
In fact, according to some estimates the receipts in bitcoin of Silk Road could have been about 614,000 BTC, or 440,000 BTC would not have been seized. Some of these were probably already sold when the marketplace was active, from unknown addresses, but others could still be in the hands of some person involved in the management of the collections for example.
The Silk Road Bitcoin transaction
The address from which the billion-dollar transaction started was the fourth largest in the world for the number of BTCs held, while now in the same location there is the SegWit address for the mailing, since practically all the BTCs stored in the old address were sent to this one.
Moreover, in various forums frequented by hackers, in the last year an encrypted file has circulated that was said to contain the cryptographic keys of the old address.
Theoretically, if that was the case, someone could have cracked that file, accessed that wallet, and seized the BTCs by sending them to an address of their own.
Now it remains to be seen what will happen to the BTCs stored in the new SegWit address, and whether they will be used, sent or sold.