Silk Road seizure made the headlines and Bitcoin insiders were quoted about the loss of immense wealth of its founder; however, according to new research by two Israeli computer scientists almost 80% of the Bitcoins received by Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR), the pseudonymous head of the Silk Road digital black market, may not have been seized by the FBI.
The Israeli duo ‘Dorit Ron and Adi Shamir’ believe that when the FBI seized the Bitcoin wealth of DPR, it published the address to which it moved the money. However, when they examined the “Blockchain”, and several other Bitcoin transaction that were made in the past and present, they found that not only the accounts from which the FBI transferred the 144,000 Bitcoins it seized from DPR, but also several other accounts which appeared to be under its control.
The Research funded by City Foundation
According to the two researchers who have been funded by City Foundation, “Assuming that DPR continued to receive at least some commissions from Silk Road during these months, “it seems likely that he was simply using a different computer during these periods, which the FBI had not found or was unable to penetrate.”
For the two Israeli researchers it looks that a majority of Bitcoins which entered the accounts the FBI seized were moved back out of those accounts prior to the seizure. Thus, the FBI was not able to access those as they believe that some will have been spent on various purposes like paying for the maintenance of Silk Road or personal expenses of the founder.
The two researchers also believe that the FBI could not break into the accounts that DPR held. Additionally, the rue that if the known volume of Silk Road transactions are taken into consideration more than 9.5m Bitcoins were spent on the site; this way more than 633,000 Bitcoins will have been generated in commission.
The FBI Could Seize Just 23% Say the Israeli Researchers
The two computer scientists working on the project believe that the FBI’s seizure represented just 23% of the site’s gross income. Their report can also be corroborated from the fact that earlier it was reported by the FBI that they were looking for the founder’s other accounts which they could not later on.
They blame the unsuccessful attempt to seize other accounts of DPR due to the lack of technology that the FBI has. According to the two researchers Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin, may have some link with DPR.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org