Dormant Bitcoin wallet containing ~$1bn drained

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This week a rather notable Bitcoin wallet had its contents transferred. This is interesting considering the wallet has remained dormant since 2015.

Sure, it could be an investor cashing out after many years but Bitcoin wallet address 1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx is a notable one.

For one, that address is largely believed to have been linked to the infamous illicit marketplace Silk Road.

It also contained 69369.16628020 Bitcoin up until Tuesday evening. At current prices, that’s well over a $1 billion.

Another reason this wallet is particularly noteworthy is addressed by Tom Robinson, chief scinetists and co-founder of Elliptic, a blockchain analysis firm.

“This address is also notable because an encrypted file has been circulating on hacker forums for the past year, which purportedly contains the cryptographic keys required to seize the bitcoins in this address. If genuine, cracking the password on this file would allow these bitcoins to be moved,” Robinson wrote on LinkedIn.

We highly recommend reading Robinson’s blog as it contains a bit more about why many believe that this wallet contained funds linked to Silk Road.

The question however is who moved these funds. It is most certainly not Ross “Dread Pirate Roberts” Ulbricht as he is currently serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

That leaves one of two possibilities. Either somebody cracked the keys Robinson mentioned or, another unknown Silk Road affiliate has decided to take back the money.

The problem with that first option is that – as Ars Technica points out – cracking those passwords would take a very long time given the encryption used, and then you’d have to see whether those keys are genuine

Whoever transferred the funds out of this wallet has now pointed the eyes of the crypto community back on the funds and with that, if indeed these funds are tied to Silk Road, the authorities as well.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.

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