The Silk Road Balance Sheet Discrepancy: Bitcoin Worth $4.8 Billion Still Missing
The original Silk Road marketplace has been shut down for well over seven years now and to this day, 444,000 bitcoin worth $4.8 billion is still missing. Just recently, a report focused on those funds discusses one of the market’s biggest mysteries and how people have seemingly forgotten about this massive stash.
A number of people understand that the Silk Road marketplace was shut down by global law enforcement (LE) in October 2013 and LE subsequently arrested Ross Ulbricht shortly after. Individuals are also familiar with the 173,991 BTC ($1.9B) from the Silk Road coins that were seized and later auctioned by the U.S. Marshalls.
“What many people don’t know about the Silk Road story, is that the balance sheet does not add up, and everybody just seems to be okay with this fact,” the mysteryarchive.com report notes. The author further adds:
Generally speaking, you don’t close a case with $4.8B just unaccounted for and this remains the Silk Road’s greatest mystery as nobody can answer this simple question.
The findings discuss how the U.S. federal agents managed to seize the 173k BTC and that it’s quite possible the rest of the funds were stored on another computer. 144k BTC out of the seized stash was found on Ulbricht’s laptop, which gave LE full access to the “Mastermind” dashboard and a list of SR payroll expenses from 2011 to 2013.
Mysteryarchive.com stresses that “another computer seems likely, as it is common practice to not put all your wealth in one place.” The report is not the only account of the hundreds of thousands of Silk Road BTC still missing from the darknet marketplace.
In 2015, news.Bitcoin.com shared an account from the alleged Silk Road mentor, ‘Variety Jones,’ who told a tale about an estimated 300,000 to 400k BTC stash. According to Jones, a rogue FBI agent dubbed ‘Diamond’ was harassing him with an attempt to obtain the hoard of Silk Road coins LE never seized.
“My back of the envelope calculations for SR [Silk Road] show that there was easily close to 400,000 BTC that wasn’t accounted for yet,” Jones wrote at the time. “I certainly don’t have it, it’s gotta be somewhere, and Diamond (the rogue FBI agent) is certainly willing to move heaven and earth to get the passphrase for it.”
Jones had said the rogue LE official was trying to extort him and the agent was also making “an average of $1,000,000 a month, committing felonies with wild abandon, just because he can.” Variety Jones, whose real name is Roger Clark, was arrested in Thailand in December 2015.
Oddly enough, Clark wasn’t charged for his association with the Silk Road (SR) or his crimes until the end of January 2020. Moreover, two rogue federal agents working with the SR investigation stole thousands of bitcoins acting as double agents.
The recent report details that the missing stash of hundreds of thousands of SR bitcoins may have been lost during the Mt Gox breach. A number of studies over the years have shown a great deal of bitcoins from the darknet marketplace might have found their way into the now-defunct Mt Gox exchange.
Alongside this, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agent Jared Der-Yeghiayan discovered interesting connections between Mt Gox and the SR marketplace. A summary of Der-Yeghiayan’s account was published on Freeross.org in a story called “Silk Road Case: The Real, Untold Story.”
“Der-Yeghiayan had identified multiple accounts belonging to the Silk Road operators that contained bitcoins worth millions of U.S. dollars,” the Untold Story study’s author notes.
The crypto community may never find out where this stash of BTC went, and can only speculate on how much really went missing. The mysteryarchive.com report concludes that it is noteworthy that Mark Karpeles (CEO of Mt Gox) helped LE with the federal investigation into the SR marketplace. Moreover, the author adds that Karpeles was also once a lead suspect in the case and was accused of being the SR leader at one point as well.
What do you think about the mysterious missing SR bitcoins? Let us know what you think about this story in the comments below.
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