(The Herald Post) – The United States government has announced plans to sell more than 50,000 confiscated bitcoins (BTC) originating from Silk Road, the infamous dark web marketplace that was the first to accept the pioneering cryptocurrency as a form of payment. The decision comes amid ongoing debates over the potential benefits of holding onto the digital assets for national defense purposes.
According to court documents, the US government sold nearly 10,000 bitcoins on March 14, 2023, for over $215 million. The remaining 41,490 BTC, worth approximately $1.1 billion, are set to be sold in four additional batches throughout the year.
These bitcoins were seized by US law enforcement agencies between November 2021 and May 2022 as part of an investigation related to Silk Road. The case was brought against James Zhong, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud last year after the government alleged that he manipulated Silk Road’s transaction system in 2012, allowing him to gain control of more than 50,000 bitcoins. Zhong managed to conceal this bounty for a decade.
Historically, the US government has auctioned off confiscated BTC, which can translate into substantial profits if bitcoin’s price increases during the time the assets are held.