The United States Marshals Service recently made its plans to auction more than 2,700 BTC that’s worth over $1.6 million, taken from several cases, including those stemmed from the investigations on the Silk Road and its founder Ross Ulbricht.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business.
The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.
USMS tells how the soon-to-be-auctioned bitcoins are linked to some civil, administrative, and criminal matters pursued by the US government in previous years.
The highest profile among them is the case involving the Silk Road dark web marketplace.
As the first ever darknet market, the Silk Road soon became a notorious online platform where users were able to buy and sell illicit drugs and various other goods and services.
In line with maintaining anonymity is the use of bitcoin for all transactions, which were ultimately confiscated from the site’s creator, Ross Ulbricht.
Ross Ulbricht was sentenced May last year to life in prison, following the conviction of running an online marketplace which facilitated over $200 million anonymous drug sales transpiring online within the dark web.
The sentence is currently being appealed.
The Silk Road creator’s case is just one out of 9 cases from which a total of 2,719 BTC was forfeited, and now subject to the latest auction according to the US Marshals Service.
In fact, only around 2.8 bitcoins in the upcoming auction actually stems from Ulbricht’s case.
USMS reveals that the bitcoins accounting for 1,294 stem from a civil case associated to Matthew Gillum, a drug dealer from Silk Road who’s been sentenced to 9 years in prison in 2015.
The federal law enforcement agency tells of another 65 BTC coming from the case of former U.S. DEA agent Carl Force IV.
He was sentenced to 78 months back in October 2015 for stealing bitcoins while investigating the Silk Road.
Another 664 out of the 2,719 bitcoins came from Sean Roberson’s case, who allegedly created an online shop catering to counterfeit debit and credit cards.
This Florida man was sentenced to prison for 78 months in November 2015.
The bitcoin auction will be held this August 22.
Those who wish to participate must register by August 18 and are required to deposit $100,000.
Potential participants outside of the U.S. are welcome as long as they do not belong in the “Specially Designated Nationals” list by the Treasury Department.
USMS said that winners would be notified right on the same day.
The auction is deemed a blind process, meaning the winning bid is not visible to those who make an offer.
August 22 marks the latest of several auctions held by the agency in the past two years, counting four from June 2014 – November 2015 with the Silk Road auction as the last one held during late 2015.
Going back to June, 24,500-bitcoin cache was auctioned off by Ernst & Young in Australia, confiscated from a former user of Silk Road originating from the country.
To date, bitcoin’s legal status may be in a grey area in most parts of the globe. Federal government auctions have increased its legitimacy in the US.