United States confiscates millions in Silk Road Bitcoins

The US government has confiscated $20 million worth of Bitcoins it seized from the Silk Road marketplace. For example, the Bitcoins can now be auctioned, but it is unclear whether that will happen.

In total, it concerns 29,655 Bitcoin, writes the US Department of Justice. According to the current exchange rate, that is almost 20 million euros. The Bitcoins had already been seized when the Silk Road marketplace was rolled up last fall, but have now been confiscated. In doing so, legal ownership of the Bitcoins is transferred from Silk Road to the US government. The US can now auction the Bitcoins, but it is not yet clear whether that will happen. Auctioning such a large amount of Bitcoins in one go can significantly affect the price.

The US government emphasizes that the Bitcoins were not seized because they are Bitcoins, but because they are income from illegal activities. The government has also seized 144,336 Bitcoin that is believed to belong to the administrator of the marketplace, Ross Ulbricht. That equates to 96 million euros. It is still unclear whether those Bitcoins will also be confiscated.

The marketplace was rolled up in September. Silk Road, which was only accessible via the Tor network, allowed users to buy items that are banned in many countries, such as drugs. The Silk Road administrator is suspected of conspiracy to sell drugs, conspiracy to hack and conspiracy to money laundering.