3 - 4 minute read
The US government is set to liquidate over $1.17 billion worth of Bitcoin that was seized in the Silk Road illicit marketplace case. The virtual assets were seized from hacker James Zhong, who was accused of stealing them from Silk Road in 2012. The government has already sold about 9,861 BTC of the total amount seized for more than $215 million on March 14th, leaving about 41,491 BTC.
The remaining BTC has a value of $1.175 billion at Bitcoin’s current value of $28,332. The government will not sell the remainder of the BTC until after Zhong is sentenced, which is scheduled for April 14th. The sale of the seized Bitcoin is part of the government’s asset forfeiture program, which is aimed at recovering the proceeds of crime.
Silk Road was a former darknet black market that was in operation from approximately 2011-2013. The site was often associated with illegal activities such as money laundering and drug running. Zhong was accused of tricking the site’s payment processing system using fake accounts and rapid deposits and then withdrawals of larger amounts to steal the Bitcoin.
Federal authorities eventually tracked down the stolen Bitcoin at Zhong’s Georgia home, seizing the Bitcoin in November 2021, when it was worth $3.6 billion. Zhong pleaded guilty to committing wire fraud in connection with the theft.
The sale of the seized Bitcoin has sparked interest among traders who are keen to know what impact it will have on the asset’s price. While it is difficult to predict how the market will react, it is likely that the sale of such a large amount of Bitcoin could put downward pressure on the asset’s price in the short term.
However, it is important to note that the sale of the Bitcoin is unlikely to have a significant impact on the overall market in the long term. Bitcoin has proven to be resilient to negative news and events in the past, and it is likely that it will continue to do so in the future.
Traders who are considering buying or selling Bitcoin in light of this news should be aware of the risks involved. Trading carries a high level of risk, and it is important to only invest what you can afford to lose. It is also important to do your own research and seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.
The US government’s decision to liquidate over $1.17 billion in Bitcoin seized from Silk Road hacker James Zhong is a significant development in the ongoing battle against cybercrime. While it is likely to put downward pressure on the asset’s price in the short term, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on the overall market in the long term. Traders should approach this news with caution and be aware of the risks involved in trading.