In brief

  • A blockchain investigation firm claims that the DOJ missed millions of dollars in crypto when it seized $1 billion in Bitcoin from a hacker.
  • Those funds have been linked to the Silk Road, a defunct darkweb marketplace.
  • The unretrieved funds are all obscure Bitcoin forks.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comments from Coinfirm CIO Pawel Aleksander.

Blockchain analytics company Coinfirm has found millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency missed by the US Department of Justice when it seized about $1 billion of Bitcoin from someone it thinks hacked the defunct dark web marketplace The Silk Road. 

In a blog post on Friday, Coinfirm said that it has found “millions of dollars in assets” that belong to “Individual X,” the pseudonym that the DOJ awarded the hacker when it announced the seizure of the $1 billion in Bitcoin on November 5. 


Among unretrieved funds are 693,701 “Bitcoin Diamonds”, worth approximately $310,000; 69,370 “Super Bitcoin”, worth around $66,000; and 69,370 “Bitcoin Private” coins, worth roughly $11,000. Coinfirm did not disclose the full extent of the unretrieved funds.

Coinfirm CIO Pawel Aleksander told Decrypt, "We are deliberately avoiding making public all of the addresses that are relevant in the case of various forks. In that way, we are better able to help authorities should they want to take action on these assets."

Coinfirm believes that “Whoever has access to the private keys of the main wallet, would still have access to these funds,” meaning that the hacker still got something for their effort.

Blockchain investigation firms traced the origin of the hack to a wallet address that had been circulating around forums for about a year, believed to be related to the Silk Road, the online black market that the FBI shut down in 2013.

The DOJ, did, however, retrieve less obscure forks of Bitcoin, such as Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Cash


The Silk Road was an online darkweb marketplace, accessible through the Tor browser and powered by Bitcoin. It sold drugs, fake driver’s licenses and credit card details, among other illegal goods and services. The FBI shut it down in 2013.

Its founder, Ross Ulbricht, is serving a life sentence without parole in an Arizona prison. He occasionally posts analysis about the Bitcoin market from his cell. 

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