U.S. Court Approves Forfeiture of 69,000 BTC in Silk Road Case

The initial judgment was issued in August and has now received clearance to be enforced, as confirmed by a recent filing in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

U.S. court approves forfeiture of 69K BTC in Silk Road case

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"A U.S. Appeals Court Confirms Forfeiture of 69,370 Bitcoin and Other Cryptos from Silk Road

In a significant legal development, a U.S. Appeals Court has concluded the official process to confiscate 69,370 Bitcoin and various cryptocurrencies from the defunct dark web marketplace Silk Road. As per a December 20 court filing, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has given the green light for the transfer of these Bitcoin holdings into federal control. This action comes after a previous ruling upheld the government's claim to the digital assets linked to Silk Road's illicit activities.

The seized cryptocurrency assets include Bitcoin gold (BTG), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), in addition to Bitcoin itself.

The initial judgment on Silk Road's Bitcoin was issued by a U.S. court in August, following the U.S. Justice Department's 2020 seizure and subsequent request for the official forfeiture of these digital assets. At the time of the seizure, the total value of the confiscated Bitcoin exceeded $1 billion.

The 2020 complaint revealed that the U.S. government had taken possession of the cryptocurrency, initially surrendered by an individual known as "Individual X," who had hacked into Silk Road and gained control of its funds. The Silk Road hacker was later identified as James Zhong, who was sentenced to a year in federal prison in April.

On July 12, a cryptocurrency wallet linked to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) conducted several transactions, moving approximately 9,825.25 Bitcoin valued at around $299 million, associated with Silk Road. Market analysts closely monitored these fund movements, speculating on the potential impact of any significant government sale on Bitcoin's price.

Ross Ulbricht, who was sentenced to life in prison, founded and operated Silk Road from 2011 to 2013, a platform notorious for illicitly selling drugs and weapons. The FBI shut down the site following Ulbricht's arrest in late 2013.

In 2022, Ulbricht agreed to utilize $3 billion worth of stolen Bitcoin to settle his debt with the U.S. government, while also waiving his claim to 69,470 Bitcoin.

Dec 21, 2023

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