The US government has transferred a significant amount of Bitcoin ($BTC) to Coinbase, a Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency trading platform, according to data from the cryptocurrency’s blockchain.
The transfer involved 49,000 BTC worth around $1 billion from wallets related to seizures of the now-defunct darknet marketplace, Silk Road.
The government sent 9,826 BTC worth $217 million to Coinbase, while an additional 39,175 BTC worth $867 million was transferred to two new addresses that appear to be internally controlled and not linked to any exchanges.
Silk Road was a controversial online marketplace created by Ross Ulbrich in 2011 and shut down in 2013. The US government seized 51,351 BTC connected to Silk Road after taking down the website.
This recent transfer of Bitcoin raises questions about the government’s plans for these seized assets and highlights the ongoing interest of law enforcement agencies in cryptocurrency.
Many people assumed that Bitcoin on Silk Road enabled fully anonymous transfers that could evade law enforcement.
However, Bitcoin’s blockchain allows for transactions to be traced between addresses. The impact of the government’s transfer of seized Bitcoin on the wider cryptocurrency market remains to be seen.
At the time of writing, BTC is trading at $22,000 after dropping more than 7% over the past week, amid a wider cryptocurrency market downturn.