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US seizes over $1 billion in bitcoin tied to Silk Road

The US Justice Department has seized over US$1 billion (A$1.37 billion) worth of bitcoin cryptocurrency which it says are the part-proceeds of sales of illicit goods and services at the now defunct underground online marketplace Silk Road.

US prosecutors said that when it was taken down in 2013, Silk Road had sales revenue totalling over 9.5 million BTC, with commission from the the sales at over 600,000 BTC.

To frustrate tracking of the flow cryptocurrency in the immutable blockchain distributed database used for bitcoin, Silk Road used “tumblers” that would perform a series of complex semi-random transactions to obscure payments.

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