US government plans to sell 41K Bitcoin connected to Silk Road

The United States government is planning to sell more than 41,000 Bitcoin (BTC) that was seized as part of a case related to Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht. A filing with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York stated that officials have already sold roughly 9,861 BTC for more than $215 million on March 14, leaving around 41,491 BTC.

The seized Bitcoin is expected to be liquidated in four more batches over the course of this calendar year, according to the filing. The second round of liquidation is expected to take place after the sentencing of James Zhong, who pled guilty to wire fraud charges related to executing a scheme to steal Bitcoin from Silk Road in 2012. The U.S. authorities seized more than 50,000 BTC, worth more than $3 billion at the time, from his Georgia home in November 2021.

Silk Road was an online marketplace that allowed users to buy and sell illicit goods, including weapons and stolen credit card information. However, the marketplace drew the attention of U.S. authorities, who arrested Ulbricht in 2013. Ulbricht is currently serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Meanwhile, the price of BTC has been volatile, dropping below $20,000 on March 10 and then moving above $29,000 on March 29. At the time of publication, BTC’s price was $28,378.

Ulbricht, who is now 39 years old, was arrested at the age of 29 and has spent his entire 30s in prison. He expressed his hope of making amends as a free man someday. During his time in prison, Ulbricht has tried to learn from his mistakes and better himself, as well as help others do the same.

The liquidation of seized Bitcoin by U.S. authorities is not a new development. In February 2022, the government recovered roughly $3.6 billion connected to the 2016 Bitfinex hack, marking one of the largest crypto seizures. As cryptocurrencies gain mainstream acceptance, it is likely that we will see more cases involving the seizure and liquidation of digital assets by government authorities.

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