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$130 Million Silk Road Bitcoin Haul to be Sold by US Authorities

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Thu, 25/01/2024 - 19:50
$130 Million Silk Road Bitcoin Haul to be Sold by US Authorities
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The United States District Court for the District of Maryland has authorized an order to forfeit and sell Bitcoin valued at approximately $130 million. 

This substantial sum was seized from the operators of the notorious Silk Road online marketplace, specifically from operators named Ryan Farace and Sean Bridges. 

The forfeiture is one of the most substantial financial seizures from digital crime enforcement to date.

The forfeiture process 

Following the court's order, the government issued a notice detailing the forfeiture and the ensuing process for disposing of the assets. 

Parties with a vested interest in the forfeited property have a 60-day window to file a petition with the court in order to challenge the forfeiture or assert a legal claim to the assets. 

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The legal framework allows for the period of petitioning before the government proceeds with the sale, thus ensuring that any parties unjustly affected can seek relief. 

The notice also outlines the opportunity for petitions for remission or mitigation. This provides a pathway for pardoning the property under specific circumstances.

The Silk Road saga 

Silk Road has remained a dark chapter in the history of online marketplaces due to its facilitation of illegal drug trades via Bitcoin transactions. 

This saga keeps seeing new developments years after the collapse of the infamous dark web market. In October, Jimmy Zhong received a one-year sentence for his involvement in the theft of Bitcoin from the Silk Road marketplace. 

The U.S. government has consistently held auctions for Bitcoin recovered from the Silk Road, transforming assets once used for illicit transactions into government funds.

Last July, it moved $300 million worth of Bitcoin after selling 9,861 coins for $216 million in March. 

In November 2022, the US government confiscated 50,000 Bitcoins valued at $1.04 billion at the time of their discovery.  

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