U.S. Appeals Court Approves Seizure of Over $3 Billion in Bitcoin from Silk Road

The U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has just lately concluded a landmark authorized course of, formally sanctioning the confiscation of 69,370 Bitcoins and different cryptocurrencies from the defunct darkish internet market Silk Street. This judicial motion enforces a earlier ruling that acknowledged the U.S. authorities’s rightful declare to those digital belongings, which have been linked to Silk Street’s infamous unlawful operations​​.

The origins of this case hint again to 2020 when the U.S. Division of Justice (DOJ) seized cryptocurrencies valued at over $1 billion. Following this seizure, a authorized movement was filed for the official forfeiture of those belongings. The confiscated Bitcoin, on the time of seizure, had a market worth exceeding $1 billion however has since appreciated to a price of over $3 billion​​​​.

Silk Street, established and operated by Ross Ulbricht from 2011 to 2013, gained infamy as a web based platform for the sale of medicine, weapons, and different unlawful items. The FBI intervened in 2013, resulting in the location’s closure and Ulbricht’s arrest. Subsequently, Ulbricht was convicted of cash laundering and operating a felony enterprise. In a big transfer, Ulbricht agreed in 2022 to make use of $3 billion price of stolen Bitcoin to offset his debt to the U.S. authorities and relinquished his declare to 69,370 Bitcoins​​​​.

The narrative of Silk Street’s Bitcoin additionally entails a person referred to as “Particular person X,” later recognized as James Zhong. Zhong had hacked into Silk Street, usurping management of its funds. In April, he acquired a federal jail sentence for his actions. Notably, in July, the DOJ-associated cryptocurrency pockets executed transactions involving roughly 9,825.25 Bitcoin, valued at round $299 million, related to Silk Street​​.

The U.S. authorities, now in possession of those Bitcoin belongings, has them underneath the administration of varied federal entities, together with the DOJ and the Inner Income Service (IRS). The overall worth of Bitcoin belongings at the moment held by the U.S. authorities, stemming from numerous unlawful actions, is estimated to be round $5.4 billion​​.

Picture supply: Shutterstock

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