A cryptocurrency wallet associated with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) moved approximately 9,825.25 Bitcoin worth around $299 million in a series of transactions on July 12.
It’s unclear at this time whether the transactions, which appear to have ultimately propagated to at least 101 new wallets, were sent to exchange addresses for sale or remain in the custody of the Justice Department.
DOJ Bitcoin transactions. Source: Screenshot via Blockchain.com
Initially, approximately 9,825 of the Bitcoin (BTC) associated with the Silk Road seizure moved in a pair of transactions sent to three addresses at around 1:00 pm UTC. The bulk of the coins — 8,200 BTC worth nearly $250 million as of the time of this article’s publication — were sent to a single address, which subsequently split the total amount across 101 separate addresses a little over an hour later:
An 8,200 BTC transaction from a wallet that received coins originating from the DOJ. Source: Screenshot via Blockchain.com
The U.S. government previously revealed that it had plans to offload the rest of its BTC from the Silk Road seizure over the course of four batch transactions throughout the remainder of the calendar year.
Related: US government plans to sell 41K Bitcoin connected to Silk Road
According to current on-chain data, it’s possible the U.S. government could be testing liquidity strategies. One account associated with batch transactions conducted on March 7, 2023 appears to have profited in the amount of $237,934,919 on 30,174.7 in BTC holdings not currently associated with the July 12 batch of transactions.
However, another account that received 9,825.6 BTC from the DOJ during the March 7 batch distributed those coins among 101 accounts. The same account later joined 599 other accounts to send a total of approximately 0.1 BTC (about $3,032 as of the time of this article’s publication) to yet another account, which then spread its holdings of approximately 51 BTC across 37 addresses.
An approximately 51 BTC transaction from a wallet that received coins originating from the DOJ. Source: Screenshot via Blockchain.com
While speculation abounds about the exact nature of the transactions, which now span some 800-plus wallet addresses, the sheer number of transactions and associated wallets makes tracking exactly what the U.S. government is doing with each coin an increasingly challenging endeavor.
This lack of certainty has led some members of the crypto community to fear that BTC is being “nuked” or that the U.S. government’s wake-inducing coin movement will ripple throughout the cryptocurrency economy and cause investors to abandon what some see as the early stages of a bull run.
Other enthusiasts have dismissed such commentary as unnecessary fear, uncertainty and doubt based on the lack of tidal movement — more than six hours after the transactions were clocked, BTC has seen less than 1% of market movement.
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