ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.
The US Marshals Service (USMS) has revealed it’s likely to auction off the remaining bitcoins that were confiscated from convicted Silkroad mastermind Ross Ulbricht sometime in 2015. This will be the USMS’s fourth bitcoin auction since a large stash of bitcoin was confiscated from Silkroad creator’s computer and the Silkroad servers in October 2013. A total of 44,336 BTC will be offered to prospective investors during the event. Unfortunately for some, the auction is only open to United States citizens, so foreign investors will not be able to make a move on the auction unless they have somebody working for them in the U.S. The USMS hasn’t yet set the specific dates of the auction, but the U.S. department is sure to hold it before the end of 2015.
The crackdown on the Silkroad was achieved as part of a joint operation between the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. U.S. Marshals Service has been in charge of the seized goods from Silkroad (mostly bitcoins) since then. In total, approximately 174,000 BTC were confiscated which included 144,000 bitcoins from Ross Ulbricht along with 29,655 bitcoins held in wallets on the Silkroad at the time of its shutdown.
The U.S government and Ross Ulbricht agreed to the sale of the bitcoins on January 27, 2015, during the Silkroad trial in New York City. On May 29 2015, Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to 2 life sentences plus other terms of five years, fifteen years and twenty years to be served concurrently and with no chance for parole, for his role in the Silkroad black market which only accepted payment in bitcoin. Ross was also ordered to pay $183,961,921 in civil asset forfeiture.
Most of these bitcoins were sold through a series of auctions held by the U.S. Marshals Service and the remaining 44,336 BTC will be cleared in the upcoming auction. During the first auction of the bitcoins seized from Silkroad attracted 45 bidders who made 63 bids, and the second auction only drew 11 bidders who made 27 bids. The third auction was held in March 2015, where 50,000 BTC were sold to bidders. 94% of the bitcoins from the third auction were bought by a secretive bitcoin company known as Cumberland Mining.