Silk Road Bitcoins
29,655 bitcoins have been seized by the US government from the defunct online black market site Silk Road. The coins will be liquidated as mentioned in a January 16th press release from the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York.
The US district judge Paul Oetken signed the forfeit order allowing the assets to be sold by the government, which was estimated at $25 million.
The now closed Silk Road website was once known as being the Amazon or eBay for drugs by its users. The black market site was shut down in October 2013, after Ross Ulbricht was discovered to be the sites founder.
Preet Bharara, US Manhattan Attorney and his agency are proceeding with legal action for the case against Ulbricht. Bharara said:
“With today’s forfeiture of $28 million worth of bitcoins from the Silk Road website, a global cyber business designed to broker criminal transactions, we continue our efforts to take the profit out of crime and signal to those who would turn to the dark web for illicit activity that they have chosen the wrong path. These bitcoins were forfeited not because they are Bitcoins, but because they were, as the court found, the proceeds of crimes.”
However, Ulbricht’s personal wallet containing more than 144,000 bitcoins will not be involved in the sale. This is because Ulbricht has agreed to own up as the founder of Silk Road in order to maintain his personal assets.
For “intentionally and knowingly” violating US narcotics laws, Ulbricht was arrested last October. Among other charges, the 29-year-old Penn-State graduate was prosecuted for possessing controlled substances and committing or conspiring to commit computer hacking crimes.
However, as the saying goes, “Any publicity is good publicity.” Since his arrest, Silk Road has become more popular. A knock-off of the initial site titled Silk Road 2.0 has emerged, while a film is in the works portraying Ulbricht and the planned targeted murders he is accused to have plotted during his tenure.