The US Court of Appeal has approved the final decision on the confiscation of 69,370 bitcoins and several other cryptocurrencies previously belonging to the closed trading platform Silk Road, totaling over $3 billion. According to documents, the U.S. District Court of Appeal confirmed the transfer of the bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies under federal control. The list of defendants in the case is led by Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, along with two defense applicants and representatives of the U.S. government as the plaintiff.
The initial court decision regarding the Silk Road bitcoins was made in August, following their seizure by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2020 and the request for their official confiscation. At the time of the seizure, the estimated value of the bitcoins exceeded $1 billion.
The U.S. government obtained the cryptocurrency from a hacker known as “individual X” in accordance with a claim filed in 2020. This hacker had hacked Silk Road and gained control over its funds. The attacker was later identified as James Joon and was sentenced to a year in federal prison in April. On July 12, a cryptocurrency wallet belonging to the U.S. Department of Justice made several transactions, transferring approximately 9,825.25 BTC worth around $299 million that were related to Silk Road. Cryptoanalysts closely monitored these transactions, as large-scale sales by the government could significantly impact the market value of bitcoin.
Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, has agreed to use the stolen bitcoins amounting to $3 billion to repay his debt to the U.S. government. Additionally, he has abandoned his claims to the 69,470 bitcoins.