The US Department of Justice has announced it seized a digital wallet containing roughly $1 billion in Bitcoin from the Dark Web marketplace called Silk Road.
Earlier this week, the cryptocurrency community was left amused when the digital wallet was hacked by an unknown attacker.
The Department of Justice revealed on Thursday it retrieved nearly 70,000 bitcoins with the help of an unnamed hacker.
"Silk Road was the most notorious online criminal marketplace of its day," said US Attorney David L. Anderson.
"The successful prosecution of Silk Road's founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar question. Where did the money go? Today's forfeiture complaint answers this open question at least in part. $1 billion of these criminal proceeds are now in the United States' possession," he said in a statement.
The US has filed a civil complaint to forfeit thousands of Bitcoins seized by law enforcement on November 3.
According to the complaint, Silk served a sprawling black market bazaar where unlawful goods and services were bought and sold regularly by the site's users.
The complaint alleged that Silk Road was used by thousands of drug dealers and other unlawful vendors to distribute illegal drugs as well as other unlawful goods and services to well over 100,000 buyers and to launder hundreds of millions of dollars derived from these unlawful transactions.
At the time it was taken down in 2013, Silk Road had nearly 13,000 listings for controlled substances and many more listings offering illegal services, such as computer hacking and murder for hire, which generated sales revenue totaling over 9.5 million Bitcoins and commissions from these sales totaling over 600,000 Bitcoins.
The Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht, following his arrest in San Francisco, was convicted in 2015 by a New York federal jury of seven criminal counts, including conspiracy to distribute narcotics and money laundering.
On November 4, the seized Bitcoin had a value of over $1 billion.
(With inputs from IANS)