The Feds Are Ready To Sell $25 Million of Bitcoin Seized From The Silk Road
One of the bigger wallets on the Bitcoin blockchain is going to be emptied in the near future. Back in October, when the feds took down the online drug bazaar Silk Road, they seized the nearly 30,000 bitcoins in its coffers. On Thursday, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the Silk Road case, announced that a judge had signed off on a forfeiture order for those coins. That means they’re now free to get rid of the 29,655 bitcoins, worth about $25 million at Bitcoin’s current $850 value.
“We have not yet determined exactly how the Bitcoins will be converted and liquidated,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Office spokesperson Jim Margolin.
There is no legally certified U.S. Bitcoin exchange dealing in these kinds of volumes, and I doubt the feds want to sell the coins via Mt. Gox, which got in legal trouble last year for operating in the U.S. without a license, or via BTC-e, the mysterious exchange based in Bulgaria. It’s likely that the U.S. Marshals will instead auction off the Bitcoins as if they were Bernie Madoff’s penthouse or a drug dealer’s cars.
When the FBI first seized the coins in October, they were worth about $6 million; they’re now worth four times that. This is a bust that keeps on paying off. The proceeds will go to the U.S. Treasury.