U.S. Government Sold $216M of Seized Silk Road Bitcoin This Month

The government will sell the remaining 41,490 BTC in four tranches this year.

AccessTimeIconMar 31, 2023 at 3:53 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:11 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The U.S. government sold 9,861.17 bitcoin (BTC) for almost $216 million on March 14, a court filing shows.

The bitcoin sold is part of the 50,000 BTC seized in November following the arrest of James Zhong, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud after the government alleged he manipulated the transaction system on darknet market Silk Road in 2012. At the time, the government hailed it as the largest cryptocurrency seizure.

The government intends to liquidate the remaining 41,490 bitcoins in four tranches over the course of this calendar year, the filing said.

Crypto traders were spooked after seeing U.S. authorities transfer over $200 million worth of bitcoin to Coinbase (COIN) on March 9. Bitcoin's price was volatile as a result, rising as much as 9.7% in a 24-hour period before returning to where it was before.

Now, however, bitcoin traders remain unperturbed by renewed concerns of selling pressure from the U.S. government, as the cryptocurrency continues to trade around $28,000.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.

Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.