Monday, June 16, 2014

US Marshals Bitcoin Auction: Not a Clean Wallet Sweep

Last Thursday the FBI announced it would be selling coins associated with the Silk Road not attributed to Ross Ulbricht AKA Dread Pirate Roberts or DPR (here is the US Marshals notice and a Coindesk story).  They claim to be auctioning off 29,656.513 065 29 bitcoins.  They have been kind enough to identify the bitcoin wallet (1Ez69SnzzmePmZX3WpEzMKTrcBF2gpNQ55) that contains the auctioned coins. What's great about bitcoin is you can look into the transactions and see what is going on.  First, lest's look at the activity on the address as a whole:

Silk Road Original Seized Wallet
This is quite the hairball of transactions.  Most for he coins actually seized by the US Marshals Service are stored in larger coins (10BTC to 2,500 BTC).  The bulk of the transactions are blockchain spam, either "marker" coins people claim they can use to track or using it to post random begging, political statements, or pump and dump claims on blockchain.info.  Here's the previous graph with all transactions prior to 11 Jun or so stripped out.

Silk Road Seized Wallet Unspent Coins

The green ovals are the leftover dust that the USMS didn't sweep into the auction coins.  I'm not sure why they missed those coins, because when you look at the wallet attributed to DPR it is a very clean sweep.

Here is the same analysis with the wallets believed to be associated with the DPR case (1FfmbHfnpaZjKFvyi1okTjJJusN455paPH / 1i7cZdoE9NcHSdAL5eGjmTJbBVqeQDwgw)
DPR Seized Wallet
Apologies, I had to downsample the image 1:2 to get the image under Blogger's image size limit.  But the organization of the coins is fascinating to explore.  I'm not sure what the obsession with 324 BTC wallets is however.  It places the value in the USD$50,000 range at the time of the movements.

DPR Seized Wallet Unspent Coins
But the old transaction strip is downright readable without scaling.  No stray dust from that sweep.  This makes me wonder why all of the coin spam got swept into DPRs coins but only some into the Silk Road Seizures.