Someone took $1 billion in bitcoin from a wallet that hadn’t been used for 5 years

More than $1 billion in Bitcoin has been transferred from a mysterious wallet that has not been used since 2015. By the way, this bitcoin wallet is the fourth largest in the world, Ars Technica reports, citing a statement from an employee of Elliptic, which analyzes blockchains.

The transaction with 69,369 BTC – at the time of publication of the article $1,033,931,071 – has been done in the last 24 hours. Alon Gal, co-founder of technology security firm Hudson Rock, was one of the first to tweet about the deal.

“Incredible,” he wrote. “Someone was able to crack the bitcoin wallet password that I reported recently and spend the $ 1,000,000,000 that was there!” Gal also stated that it remains unclear if the person responsible for this transfer was the original owner of the wallet, or if it was someone who managed to crack the password.

Tom Robinson, co-founder and chief scientist at blockchain analytics company Elliptic, said on Twitter that the bitcoin wallet is the fourth largest in the world. The funds came from the sale of illegal goods on Silk Road, a clandestine market that sold drugs, contract killings and other illegal goods and services, before it collapsed in 2013, he said.

According to Robinson, when bitcoins were withdrawn from Silk Road in 2013, their value was about $ 350,000. Over the years, the skyrocketing price of bitcoins has resulted in their value soaring to more than $955 million. The account has remained dormant since 2015. years when someone transferred 101 BTC to BTC-E. This is a now closed online trading platform for fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies in real-time, focused primarily on Russian-speaking users. The founder of BTC-E was arrested in 2017 on charges of $4 billion in bitcoin laundering.

Who “cleaned out” the bitcoin wallet is still a mystery. Perhaps it was either someone associated with the founder of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, or one of the users of the online criminal market. But there is another possibility: in an article published two months ago by Vice, it was said that hackers traded an encrypted wallet on forums and underground marketplaces in the hope of recovering cryptocurrency, which at that time was worth about $690 million.

Many believed that the chances of successfully cracking the password to unlock the wallet were very small. Passwords are usually long and the encryption is very complex. Moreover, you can never be sure that the transmitted wallet.dat file is a real Bitcoin wallet or just a fake.

For now, the quasi-anonymous nature of bitcoin transactions hides the identity of the person or party who transferred more than $1 billion in digital currency.

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