Technology

Somebody has transferred ~ $ 1 billion from a quiet Bitcoin pockets since 2015

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Almost $ 1 billion in Bitcoin has been transferred from a mysterious wallet that has been quiet since 2015.

Transportation of just over 69,369 BTC – valued at around $ 975 million at the time of this post – has been withdrawn in the past 24 hours, as the Bitcoin ledger shows. Alon Gal, co-founder and CTO of security firm Hudson Rock, was one of the first – if not the first – to report the transaction.

"INCREDIBLE," he wrote. "Someone was able to crack the password of the Bitcoin wallet that I recently reported on and spend the $ 1,000,000,000 in it!" Gal went on to say that it was not clear whether the person in charge was the original wallet owner or someone who did the improbable feat of cracking the password.

It was either the person who cracked the password or the original owner who may have noticed that recent articles were spread among hackers through his wallet.

The wallet has been considered "dormant" since 2013.

In any case, that's pretty interesting.

– Alon Gal (Under the Break) (@UnderTheBreach) November 3, 2020
Tom Robinson, co-founder and chief scientist of blockchain analytics company Elliptic, said on Twitter that the Bitcoin wallet is the fourth largest in the world. He said he believed the funds came from sales on the Silk Road, the underground market that sold drugs, rental murder and other illegal goods and services, before being brought down in 2013. Elliptic published this blog post the previous Wednesday.

Exploding value

When BTC moved out of the Silk Road in 2013, they were worth around $ 350,000, according to Robinson. In the past few years, the value of the skyrocketing Bitcoin price has surged to over $ 955 million and beyond. The account has been inactive since 2015 when someone transferred 101 BTC to BTC-e, a bitcoin exchange whose founder was arrested in 2017 on charges of $ 4 billion worth of bitcoin money laundering. advertising

The person or party who withdrew the gust of wind remains a mystery. Possibly it was either someone connected to the Silk Road founder, Ross Ulbricht, or one of the many vendors who used the online crime bazaar. But there is another possibility: An article published by Vice two months ago said hackers traded the encrypted wallet on forums and underground marketplaces to restore the cryptocurrency, which at the time was worth about $ 690 million. Dollars had.

The chances of successfully cracking the password used to unlock the wallet were generally considered to be far-reaching. Passwords are generally long and encryption – a combination of AES-256-CBC and SHA-512 – is extremely slow to process. In addition, the wallet.dat file that was passed on was never certain that it was the real Bitcoin wallet or a fake.

For now, the quasi-anonymous nature of Bitcoin transactions hides the identity of the person or party who withdrew nearly $ 1 billion worth of digital currency. Given the interest in law enforcement and advances in cryptocurrency forensics, you can bet that people are working hard to solve this mystery.

The title and first sentence of this story have been edited.

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Steven Gregory