March 28, 2024
Court Sanctions Forfeiture of 69K BTC
Bitcoin News

Court Sanctions Forfeiture of 69K BTC

In August, a U.S. appeals court concluded legal proceedings to formally confiscate 69,370 Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from the now-defunct Silk Road dark web marketplace, as stated in a filing within the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The court affirmed the transfer of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Bitcoin SV (BSV), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to federal control, following a prior ruling that upheld the government’s claim to the digital assets associated with Silk Road’s illicit operations.

The U.S. Justice Department initiated the legal action in 2020, leading to the seizure and subsequent motion for the official forfeiture of the cryptocurrency. The value of the seized Bitcoin exceeded $1 billion at the time of the initial complaint.

The court’s decision in August stemmed from the government’s possession of the cryptocurrency, surrendered by an individual known as “Individual X,” who had hacked into Silk Road and taken control of its funds. James Zhong, identified as the Silk Road hacker, was sentenced to a year in federal prison in April. On July 12, a cryptocurrency wallet linked to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) conducted transactions involving about 9,825.25 Bitcoin valued at approximately $299 million, associated with Silk Road.

Market analysts closely monitor such fund movements, speculating on the potential impact of any large-scale sale by the U.S. government on Bitcoin’s price.

Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, was sentenced to life in prison for operating the platform from 2011 to 2013, notorious for facilitating the sale of drugs and weapons. In 2022, Ulbricht agreed to utilize $3 billion worth of stolen Bitcoin to settle his debt to the U.S. government, waiving his claim to 69,470 Bitcoin.

The legal conclusion marks a significant step in the government’s efforts to assert control over the cryptocurrency linked to the Silk Road, underscoring the ongoing complexities surrounding the intersection of the dark web, cybercrime, and cryptocurrency.

Image By freepik

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