Majority of Silk Road’s Bitcoins Remain Unseized
(The Guardian) Almost 80% of the Bitcoins received by Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR), the pseudonymous head of the Silk Road digital black market, may not have been seized by the FBI, according to new research by two Israeli computer scientists.
When the FBI seized the Bitcoin wealth of DPR, believed to be 29-year-old San Franciscan Ross Ulbricht, it published the address to which it moved the money. Now, Dorit Ron and Adi Shamir have examined the “blockchain”, the public record of every Bitcoin transaction ever made, and identified not only the accounts from which the FBI transferred the 144,000 Bitcoins (presently worth $115m) it seized from DPR, but also several other accounts which appeared to be under his control.
Around a third of the Bitcoins which entered the accounts the FBI seized were moved back out of those accounts prior to the seizure. Some will have been spent, but the researchers also believe that he had other accounts which the authorities have failed to access entirely.