A single Bitcoin transaction worth billions is causing speculation

Over $ 1 billion worth of Bitcoin fortune moved on the blockchain. Was it Silk Road Coins? Has a wallet file been cracked?

A cryptocurrency balance of around 69,396 Bitcoin that has not been moved for several years has been transferred again for the first time and has caused a stir in the cryptocurrency community. The Bitcoin treasure is currently worth a little over a billion US dollars or around 850 million euros – according to the analysis service Elliptic, it was the fourth-largest Bitcoin balance parked on a single address to date.

A treasure of the Dread Pirate Roberts?

The money was transferred from the address 1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx to a fresh address last Tuesday night. Elliptic boss Tom Robinson assumes that this is money from the holdings of the darknet drug marketplace Silk Road, which was closed by US law enforcement in 2013. According to his blog entry, blockchain analyzes showed that a large amount of bitcoin (valued at around 350,000 US dollars at the time) left the Silk Road wallet in May 2012 and ended up with stops in April 2013 at 1HQ3 … Apart from a withdrawal of 101 Bitcoin to the Btc-e exchange in 2015, there have been no withdrawals from the address since then. Btc-e was closed in 2017 on allegations of massive money laundering.

An analysis by c‘t, which can be read in the article “Bitttrug” in issue 24/20, which will be published on Friday, also speaks in favor of a Silk Road background. According to this, a large part of the money comes from the Bitcoin mixer on Silk Road, it may belong to a former trader on the platform. A large fortune that had previously been carefully dismantled was apparently reunited at the address in question, which points to the work of a professional.

Wallet cracked with lost password?

There is a lot of speculation about who could be behind this huge transaction. It seems unlikely that it could be the American Ross Ulbricht himself, who was convicted of Silk Road operator in 2015, unless he has the opportunity to carry out Bitcoin transactions in prison.

However, an encrypted wallet file has been circulating for a long time, which supposedly contains exactly the private key for this address, as the online magazine Vice reported. Hackers have been trying to decipher them for around two years, wrote Alon Gal, CTO of the security company Under the breach, in a tweet in September. And announced that I would try the file myself.

Gal and Elliptic boss Robinson speculate that someone might have succeeded and that the unknown wallet crackers were now using them. This not only requires successful brute force cracking of encryption with AES-256-CBC and SHA-512, but above all that it is not a fake file.

But a forgery is very likely, as the c‘t writes: This wallet file is likely to be the product of a scam that has been used for several years. Fictitious wallets with alleged keys for large balances are offered for sale, for which, unfortunately, the password has unfortunately been lost. Finally, when high prices can no longer be achieved, such files end up on platforms such as AllPrivateKeys, where wallets are sometimes traded for a few euros.

In the end, it remains unclear what the purpose of parking the huge amount is. From the theft of private keys to one of the notorious Bitcoin whales who are now putting their assets into position for market manipulation in the current crypto boom, anything is possible. Who exactly is behind the huge sum is open until further notice. The blockchain is silent on this.

Picture by Pixabay

[Update 11/6/2020 – 9:15 am] In the meantime, the US Department of Justice has announced that the Bitcoin has been seized. It is the most extensive seizure of crypto money ever.

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