The legal process to obtain 69,370 bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that were taken from the now-closed Silk Road site has been completed by the U.S. Department of Justice. After recent filings with the federal appeals court, the August court decision authorizing the seizure has officially taken effect.
The confiscated cryptocurrency assets, which are today worth at over $3 billion, were previously under the possession of government entities for years. An anonymous individual who supposedly gained access to the holdings in 2013 by eluding Silk Road’s security voluntarily turned them up. The U.S. government is named as the plaintiff in the forfeiture lawsuit, and Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht is listed as a defendant along with two other claimants in court filings.
2013 saw the permanent closure of Silk Road
2013 saw the permanent closure of Silk Road following an FBI investigation. Authorities claimed that the website had made it possible for guns, illegal products, and controlled substances to be sold illegally. Ulbricht, the man behind it, was found guilty of running a criminal enterprise and money laundering.
Ulbricht gave up ownership claims to the bitcoins that were taken this year. In addition, he agreed to give up another $3 billion in purportedly stolen cryptocurrency. Part of the alleged revenue from the Silk Road was supposed to be reimbursed per the agreement.
Since 2013, when an anonymous individual committed the bitcoin stash to U.S. officials, the stash has been held by them. Based on allegations of illegitimate ownership, the Justice Department pursued civil forfeiture in 2020.
The challenged cryptocurrency was just transferred from long-held wallets into two government-controlled accounts, marking the first moves since 2015. This coincides with the termination of forfeiture terms.