US authorities say they have seized more than 50,000 bitcoins - now valued at around $1 billion - related to the Silk Road dark web marketplace.
The bitcoin were seized from devices hidden in the house of James Zhong last November, when they were worth around $3.36 billion.
Zhong has pled guilty to wire fraud in 2012 when he obtained the bitcoin from the Silk Road. He set up a string of approximately nine Silk Road accounts and then triggered over 140 transactions in rapid succession in order to trick the site’s withdrawal-processing system into releasing the bitcoin from its payment system into his accounts.
US Attorney Damian Williams says: "Thanks to state-of-the-art cryptocurrency tracing and good old-fashioned police work, law enforcement located and recovered this impressive cache of crime proceeds. This case shows that we won’t stop following the money, no matter how expertly hidden, even to a circuit board in the bottom of a popcorn tin."
Zhong is scheduled to be sentenced in February, when he could face up to 20 years in prison.