US Government to Auction Seized Silk Road Bitcoin Holdings Worth $130 Million
Crypto News – In two separate operations, the US government seized Bitcoin assets associated with the notorious Silk Road marketplace. The first seizure took place in Memphis, Tennessee, on February 10, 2021, followed by another in Arlington, Virginia, on May 11, 2021.
On Thursday, January 25, 2024, the US government took a significant step by filing a notice regarding the sale of approximately $130 million worth of Bitcoins that had been confiscated as a result of the Silk Road darknet marketplace’s downfall. This auction is set to occur in two separate lots of Bitcoins, with the guidance of the US Attorney General.
The sale will be divided into two portions: the first comprising 2,874 BTC valued at $129 million, and the second consisting of 58 BTC worth $3.3 million. The notice provides a 60-day window, starting from January 10, for individuals (excluding defendants) to assert their interest in the forfeited property through ancillary petitions.
Furthermore, the notice allows for petitions seeking remission, which could potentially result in the pardon of some or all of the seized Bitcoins from forfeiture. It’s worth noting that these Bitcoins were formerly owned by two individuals connected to the infamous Silk Road.
The larger portion of Bitcoins belonged to Ryan Farace, a Maryland native who, along with his father, was convicted on charges related to a money laundering conspiracy involving the darknet sale of Xanax. The smaller portion of Bitcoins belongs to Sean Bridges, a former US Secret Service Special Agent who played a role in Silk Road investigations and now faces charges related to the theft of Bitcoins acquired by the US government.
Regarding the seizure of Bitcoin from the Silk Road, the US government conducted two separate operations, the first in Memphis, Tennessee, on February 10, 2021, and the second in Arlington, Virginia, on May 11, 2021. The District Court in Maryland officially completed the condemnation and forfeiture process of these Bitcoins to the US government on January 8, 2024.
These confiscated funds represent only a fraction of the overall assets related to Silk Road that the US government has seized over time. Apart from the initial seizures linked to Silk Road’s creator, Ross Ulbricht, in 2013, the US government also gained possession of $3.6 billion worth of Bitcoin from James Zhong in 2022, in addition to another $1 billion worth of Bitcoin in 2020.
As of December 2023, the US government held approximately $9 billion worth of Bitcoins. However, it’s important to note that this sum includes Bitcoins acquired from various sources in addition to those related to Silk Road.
The sale of these confiscated Silk Road Bitcoins by the US government could potentially exert downward pressure on the price of Bitcoin. Since the approval of the Bitcoin ETF, the BTC price has faced significant selling pressure, falling below $40,000. Some market analysts anticipate a further 15% correction from the current levels.