Justice Dept Seizes $3.6 Billion in Bitcoin and Arrests Married Couple The New York Times


Here are a few governments which have shown an interest in bitcoin investments in recent months. The gains also seem to be boosted by speculation that the US Securities and Exchange Commission could black edge overturn its rejection of the Winklevoss twins’ bitcoin exchange-traded fund. The SEC accepted public comment on its decision until May 15, but it hasn’t announced whether it will overturn it.

He then triggered over 140 transactions in rapid succession, which tricked the marketplace’s withdrawal-processing system to release approximately 50,000 bitcoin into his accounts. Zhong then transferred the bitcoin into a variety of wallet addresses all under his control. The Forfeiture.gov site, which records Justice department administrative, civil and criminal forfeiture actions, should typically be the place to find out more about the total number of bitcoins held by the government.

What Happens to the Money Earned in these Auctions?

Additionally, Ulmart, Russia’s largest online retailer, earlier this month said it would begin accepting bitcoin even though Russia said it wouldn’t explore the cryptocurrency until 2018. General Service Administration, GSA Auctions is the federal government’s online clearinghouse for excess federally owned assets and equipment, such as office furniture, vehicles, scientific equipment and collectibles. While executing the September 2012 fraud, ZHONG did not list any item or service for sale on Silk Road, nor did he buy any item or service on Silk Road. ZHONG registered the accounts by providing the bare minimum of information required by Silk Road to create the account; the Fraud Accounts were merely a conduit for ZHONG to defraud Silk Road of Bitcoin. And law enforcement officials have brought criminal charges against people who own exchanges and are suspected of facilitating criminal activity.

Marshals are holding, let alone the different states that may have forfeited crypto. Nevertheless, once an auction is finished and the crypto has been exchanged for fiat, the money is either deposited into The Treasury Forfeiture Fund or the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund. “The underlying investigative agency determines which fund the money goes to,” Levin said. A recent report by CNBC reveals that the US has been auctioning off Bitcoin and other digital assets for years now. WASHINGTON — Looking for a chance to join the expanding cryptocurrency market?

  • As there is no tangible asset up for bid, GSA will not hold an inspection day.
  • Marshals are holding, let alone the different states that may have forfeited crypto.
  • ZHONG moved this Bitcoin out of Silk Road and, in a matter of days, consolidated them into two high-value amounts.
  • In February of the previous year, officials liquidated 9,861 BTC, previously owned by Silk Road, on the Coinbase platform.

Its founder, Ross William Ulbricht, is now serving a life sentence in prison. Several agencies within the U.S. government routinely seize valuable objects and precious metals and sell them off in auctions. But none of the assets seized have the price volatility of cryptocurrencies. The sale is part of the case against James Zhong, who was accused of committing wire fraud in September 2012 for illegally obtaining over 50,000 bitcoin from the Silk Road internet marketplace. Zhong pled guilty in November 2022 and is set to be sentenced next month. Once a government system like this is online, I predict that seized bitcoins will still circulate and be traded among users.


Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for two decades. According to authorities, Zhong stole bitcoin from the illegal Silk Road marketplace, a dark web forum on which drugs and other illicit products were bought and sold with cryptocurrency. Silk Road was launched in 2011, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation shut it down in 2013.

Invest in Cryptocurrency by Bidding on GSA Auctions

A new order signed into law in 1974 once again permitted private citizens to hold gold. “All of that bitcoin is held by those government agencies,” says Elementus CEO Max Galka. “But that does not mean that that is the only bitcoin that is held by a those governments, nor that other governments are not using bitcoin.” Law firm Mayer Brown, told CNBC that it is very unlikely that all the proceeds from crypto auctions are held in one place. “I don’t believe there’s any one place that has all the crypto that the U.S.

The government can’t seize your Bitcoin. Or can it?

Currently, the amount of money that is being laundered through bitcoin is relatively minuscule, so no government has implemented such a system yet, but I’m convinced that they will once this becomes a significant problem. The government is serious about money laundering, and cryptocurrency just provides the ideal technical basis. A person who the government is not publicly identifying gained control of Silk Road’s private key and used it to steal cryptocurrency.

U.S. Government’s Bitcoin Holdings Jump to $8.3 Billion, Outpaces MicroStrategy

Some of these concerns have led other governments, like South Korea and China, to crack down on cryptocurrencies more broadly. The Swedish government made digital currency headlines in the fall of 2017 when it decided to auction off some seized bitcoin as well. The value of the seized assets were significantly smaller than those in the Bulgarian incident, as the Swedish Kronofogden announced plans to sell just 0.6 BTC, worth about $3,200 at the time. The report shows that the US is sitting on a huge amount of bitcoins.

These assets were acquired in the course of criminal investigations or bankruptcy and are a fast and easy way to develop your portfolio. This guide will survey this practice and show you how to buy crypto at the next US government auction. Regulatory bodies in the United States sometimes end up confiscating a significant amount of digital assets, particularly Bitcoin, during their investigation. Well, it turns out that the government auctions off those cryptocurrencies alongside other seized assets like cars, houses, and artworks. It’s no secret that crypto assets like Bitcoin (BTC 6.81%) are facing increased scrutiny from governments around the world, and investors in this space will likely face stricter regulations in the years ahead. US attorneys had announced their intention to sell the remaining bitcoins from Silk Road, totaling 41,491 BTC and valued at $1 billion then and $1.8 billion in today’s market.

One of the more prominent upcoming auctions includes $56 million worth of cryptocurrencies which were seized as part of a massive Ponzi scheme case against BitConnect. Notably, proceeds from the crypto auctions will be used to reimburse victims of the fraud. But investigators traced the movement of the Bitcoin on the blockchain, the permanent fixed electronic ledger that records each time a Bitcoin moves to a new digital wallet.