#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES – April 14 – When the FBI shut down the Silk Road, an internet black market, in October it also seized the accused owner’s assets and inadvertently became one of the wealthiest bitcoin operators in the world.
When the FBI shut down the notorious online marketplace it made international headlines and began a worldwide discussion about how stable the future of bitcoin really is. Investigators have admitted that they seized hundreds of thousands of bitcoins from the Silk Road and its operator Dread Pirate Roberts, allegedly the on-line persona of one Ross Ulbricht.
A new report from Wired magazine indicates that the FBI is now in control of two addresses, or wallets, holding bitcoin worth as much as $120 million. That total would make the law enforcement agency the second-largest bitcoin holder in the world behind only Satoshi Nakamoto, the currency’s inventor, who is thought to have mined one million bitcoin in the technology’s earliest days.
There is a total of 12 million bitcoins in circulation and the FBI’s haul from the Silk Road raid means the bureau has more than even Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The Winklevoss twins, who became famous when they sued Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their idea for Facebook, said in July of this year that they had taken control of roughly one percent of all bitcoins.
As of October, the FBI owned 1.5 percent of all the world’s bitcoin, Forbes reported. Less than a quarter-million people own a single bitcoin, although the number of accounts holding one bitcoin has grown from 159,916 to 246,377.