One of the biggest Bitcoin portfolios ($955 million) has been emptied – Dantesque hack… or leak?

Yes, I agree to receive emails according to your privacy policy.
Bitcoins that go poof – It’s an extraordinary and mysterious Bitcoin movement that just happened on November 3rd. A huge wallet linked to the black market Silk Road and containing 69,370 BTC has just been completely emptied.

A transaction out of the ordinary
CipherTrace is a cybersecurity and blockchain transaction monitoring company. On 3 November, it spotted an exceptional movement from a Bitcoin portfolio (at 1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx).
An anonymous person has just Financial Peak transferred the 69,370 BTC of this wallet, i.e. more than $955 million, to another address whose owner is also unknown. He first transferred 1 BTC (probably as a test), before transferring 69,369.

The bitcoins that were moved would originally have come from the darknet Silk Road black market.

Details of the portfolio and its nearly $1 billion bitcoin transaction
According to CipherTrace, it would appear that this transaction was carried out „to move from one address format to another“. The old address is a Legacy/P2PKH address (starting with a „1“), while the new address is a Bech32/P2WPKH address (starting with „bc1q“).

A voluntary action or a hack?
Although CipherTrace believes that this important move may simply have been made to „stay up to date with the Bitcoin network“, the cyber-surveillance company believes that there is also a possibility that the wallet may have been „cracked by hackers“.

Indeed, the portfolio has been in existence since 2015 and is well known to Darknet hackers, many of whom appear to have tried to access it. It must be said that the BTCs at stake represent a nice sum.
It can also be noted that, these bitcoins having been deposited well before the successive hard forks of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and BSV, an equivalent quantity of these forked cryptos have also been moved to new BCH and BSV addresses a priori specially created for the occasion.

Whether the original owner or a hacker, he has thus very conscientiously transferred this „small change“, which represents 16.3 million and 10 million dollars respectively.

No one knows why this transaction took place or what the future holds for this large quantity of Bitcoin. However, the sulphurous origin of these BTCs remains engraved in the blockchain, and it will prove difficult to dispose of them – at least quickly, even through mixing services to muddy the waters.