After years of massive headaches, US authorities will finally reap the benefits of chasing cryptocurrency criminals.
The cryptocurrency industry has been giving authorities worldwide a massive headache for the years since its inception. But now, that headache is about to pay off for US Marshals, and the stash is pretty massive.
Around 2,170 BTC seized from different cases including some amassed from the Silk Road are set to be auctioned off on March 19, from 8am until 2pm EDT. At today’s trading rates, this would amount to over $24 million. To get in on the auction, bidders need to pre-register and deposit $200,000 between 8AM EST on March 5, until noon of March 14 EDT. The auction itself, the US Marshals Service says, will be done via email, as is the announcement of the winning bidder.
According to the US Marshals Service’s release on the auction, the BTC to be sold off came from several cases won by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and some obtained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It also includes a few cases against individuals including the case against Shaun Bridges, the former Secret Service agent who was sentenced to 71 months in prison after stealing BTC while investigating Silk Road, and was slapped with an additional sentence for stealing over 1,600 more BTC from the stash seized by authorities from Bitstamp after he had already entered a plea agreement for his previous thefts.
Lately, US authorities have been happy to seize and sell “dirty bitcoins.” Since last year, Utah prosecutors have been urging for the immediate sale of seized BTC at the height of BTC’s bull run.
Meanwhile in South Korea, seizing cryptocurrencies—regardless of the crime surrounding them has been ruled as a no-go. Last year, a court ruling by the Suwon district botched plans to sell off a stash of BTC seized from a man who operated an obscene website, saying bitcoins are electronic files with no physical entities or objective standard value, and therefore cannot be seized.