A United States appeals court has finalized the legal process to officially seize 69,370 bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies from the shuttered darknet marketplace Silk Road.
Although the judgment for this enormous Bitcoin forfeiture was passed in August of this year, it has now been cleared to take effect, as per a Dec. 20 filing in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The seizure is the second largest seizure in U.S. Department of Justice history and included cryptos like Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), and Bitcoin SV (BSV) — in addition to BTC.
The U.S. government was named as the Plaintiff in the filing alongside two claimants, Ilija Matukso and Battle Born Investment Company. Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht, who is serving a double life sentence and 40 years in prison without the possibility of parole, was named the defendant.
The U.S. Justice Department seized a large stash of BTC after hacker James Zhong confessed to stealing digital assets from the Silk Road marketplace. With bitcoin currently trading for $43,810, the 69,370 coins are worth approximately $3,039,099,700. The feds had already been in control of the Silk Road-linked cryptocurrency after Zhong handed it over and has been selling the crypto bit by bit. US authorities dumped roughly 10,000 Bitcoins in March, equivalent to $215.7 million sold off.
Crypto traders tend to keep an eye on big and well-known BTC holders such as the U.S. government-controlled wallet because when they move huge amounts of funds, it negatively impacts the price of the asset.
Now, however, investors remain unperturbed by concerns of selling pressure from the feds ahead of potential spot bitcoin ETF approval and the bitcoin rewards halving in April 2024. Analysts at Bitwise believe these two key catalysts could catapult the price of Bitcoin to $80,000 next year.