The U.S. government is gearing up to sell over $130 million worth of Bitcoin linked to the infamous dark web marketplace Silk Road, according to a new court filing. The notice follows the final forfeiture order last month granting federal ownership of 69,000 BTC stemming from the years-long case.
The Maryland District Court document signals officials intend to liquidate a portion of the massive crypto haul, though specifics on the number of coins or sale timeline remain undisclosed. Previous government sell-offs of the seized Silk Road funds point to potential auction dates within months.
The black market Silk Road website leveraged Bitcoin to facilitate extensive illegal drug and money laundering activity before federal authorities shut it down in 2013. What ensued was a nearly decade-long pursuit to confiscate creator Ross Ulbricht’s trove of illicit crypto, estimated at over 144,000 BTC.
Multiple chunks of Silk Road Bitcoin sold off
Multiple chunks have already been sold off, netting the U.S. Marshals Service over half a billion dollars. The Department of Justice obtained legal control of the remaining 69,370 BTC stash in a judgment finalized this past December.
Now the DOJ appears ready to liquidate more of the forfeited funds, though the filing leaves the specifics of its planned sale opaque. Previous government crypto auctions were spaced over months and involved batches of thousands of Bitcoin.
The continued offloading of the seized Silk Road coins comes as Bitcoin hovers around the price range of $39,000 to $40,000.