Thursday, November 5, 2020

Record $1 Billion Worth of Bitcoin Linked to Ross Ulbricht Seized by U.S. Government

So much for Bitcoin being a protection against the government.

The U.S. government seized an unprecedented $1 billion worth of bitcoin linked to Silk Road, which the government alleges was run by Ross Ulbricht, who is now serving life in prison after being convicted of running the operation.

The "Justice" Department said it was the largest seizure of cryptocurrency in the history of the agency.

According to CNBC, this week, London-based blockchain analysis firm Elliptic said that it picked up on the massive movement of bitcoin spurred by the DOJ. The company reported 69,369 bitcoins — worth about $1 billion — had been moved out of a bitcoin wallet, which had the fourth-highest balance of any in the world.

As I have stressed, Bitcoin is an extremely trackable method of exchange.

This DOJ grab is proof of that.

CNBC notes:

 U.S. agencies were able to track down those illicit funds through a unit within the IRS that specializes in tracing virtual currency transactions. The IRS agents were able to identify 54 new bitcoin transactions executed by the Silk Road, which appear to be proceeds of some of that illegal activity, the complaint said. The agency was then able to trace that money to a specific bitcoin address that appeared to have hacked the bitcoin funds from the Silk Road.



  1. So Bitcoin transactions are no more concealable from the government than those in your brokerage account. Its value is elsewhere, mainly its fixed supply, but also its ease of transportation, concealability, privacy (aside from the government), liquidity, and such.

    And it's up 109% YTD, though to be fair it was down 32% in the March crash. PayPal is going to make Bitcoin widely and easily available. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) holds more than $7 billion in Bitcoin, up by leaps and bounds. Other Wall Street actors are acquiring, such MicroStrategy's recent purchase of $425 million worth. Wall Street is coming aboard. And with their man in the White House (they gave 80% of their donations to Biden), their investments are not going to be in any danger.

    Add the coming price inflation and Bitcoin is going to look very attractive as an inflation hedge. Worth a couple percent in the portfolio?

  2. I'm glad we still have a libertarian president for a few more months who will protect us from government overreach like this. Ha ha.

  3. It's almost like us Bitcoin skeptics who warned of the lack of security of the blockchain were right all along.

    Now, let's talk about the Regression Theorem.

    Peter Surda, please pick up the white phone.

    1. Surda's 2012 thesis:

  4. Not a fan of centralized fiat dollars? Satoshi Nakamoto has what you crave, decentralized fiat coins! And how about you gold bugs out there? Why risk owning something physical that can be lost when you can buy something non-physical that can never physically be lost? And with decentralized fiat coins nothing needs to be physically mined ever again because we already have all the computers we'll ever need to mine digitally! Most importantly, since digital coins aren't backed by anything physical the sky is the limit in terms of their value. The sky! which stretches from nothing, the ground, to infinity.

    1. Investopedia says "Fiat money is government-issued currency that is not backed by a physical commodity". So Bitcoin is not fiat. And of course not legal tender.

  5. Old money is the best money. Stack and stack!