The bitcoin was originally obtained in 2012 and had a value of $3.36 billion when it was uncovered in November. As of now, its worth is estimated to be around $1.04 billion.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, announced on Monday that 50,676 bitcoins connected to the Silk Road darknet market were confiscated in November. The value of the bitcoin was $3.36 billion when discovered and has since decreased to $1.04 billion. At the time, it was the most extensive cryptocurrency confiscation ever recorded, but it has since been surpassed by the seizure of 70,000 bitcoins related to the Bitfinex crypto exchange hack. In connection to James Zhong’s address in Georgia, the coins, $661,900 in cash, and various precious metals were seized. On Monday, the Justice Department stated that Zhong admitted to wire fraud in 2012.
“This case shows that we won’t stop following the money, no matter how expertly hidden, even to a circuit board in the bottom of a popcorn tin,” Williams stated
Silk Road was an illicit darknet marketplace that operated from 2011 to 2013, using bitcoin as its primary payment method. Following the apprehension of its operator, Ross Ulbricht, who is currently serving a life sentence without parole, the site collapsed. In 2014, the US Marshals auctioned off a number of seized bitcoins, including 50,000 coins sold for $20 million and a 30,000-coin auction a few months earlier. James Zhong manipulated Silk Road’s withdrawal system by triggering 140 transactions, causing the system to mistakenly credit multiple external wallets with the bitcoin, according to the Justice Department.