One billion dollars worth of Bitcoin (BTC) was moved overnight, for the first time since 2015.
Two theories could explain this mysterious transaction, linked to the portfolio of the famous Silk Road marketplace, closed in 2013.
9,000 BTC owned by Silk Road
At the end of the day yesterday, more than 69,370 BTC from Silk Road – one of the first darknet markets – were transferred for the first time since April 2015, through the two transactions.
The fourth-largest Bitcoin address thus moved its entire balance to a second address ( visible here ) through two separate transactions. 1 BTC was sent in a first transaction, followed by the remaining 69,369 BTC. The first transaction was most likely sent for testing, to make sure the bitcoins don’t accidentally get sent to the wrong address. This action is generally observed when transferring large amounts of cryptocurrency to a new address.
Note that at the time of writing, the transaction that interests us today is equivalent to $ 960 million. The issuer spent around $ 12 (0.000879 80 BTC) to complete this transaction.
How to explain this transaction?
So it seems that this transaction was made to switch from one address format to another. Indeed, the old address is of the “Legacy / P2PKH” type while the new one is a “Bech32 / P2WPKH” address. Bech32 addresses are made up of numbers and lowercase letters only, which reduces the risk of error compared to previous formats.
While it is very likely that these transactions were made by the owner to keep up to date with the Bitcoin network, there is also speculation that the wallet could have been cracked by hackers.
Indeed, the funds of Silk Road, blocked in this wallet for five years, were the object of much greed. In September, a person claiming to own the wallet.dat file in the wallet appealed to the community for solutions on how to access the 69,000 BTC. He even suggested the use of a quantum computer as a potential tool to determine private keys.
These transactions could then mean that the wallet owner is trying to prevent hackers from accessing their loot or that the hackers have already cracked the file.