Seized Silk Road Bitcoin to Clear Ross Ulbricht's $183M Debt

A court filing reveals that bitcoin seized in 2020 will be used to repay the Silk Road founder's debt to the U.S. government.

Apr 22, 2022 at 3:19 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 22, 2022 at 4:24 p.m. UTC

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

Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht will see his $183 million debt wiped out following the seizure of $3 billion in bitcoin connected to an unnamed Silk Road hacker, according to a court filing.

  • In 2015, Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was also ordered to pay $183 million in restitution, a figure calculated from the total illegal sales on Silk Road using an exchange rate at the time of each transaction.
  • Court documents in 2020 reveal that the Justice Department seized 69,370 bitcoins from a hacker who moved the trove to a private wallet in April 2013.
  • Ulbricht has been given a surprising reprieve, with the Justice Department making a deal with him in February 2021 that forfeits any claim Ulbricht may have had to the stolen bitcoin in exchange for the restitution to be repaid once the bitcoin is sold.
  • "The parties agree that the net proceeds realized from the sale of the [bitcoin] forfeited pursuant to this agreement shall be credited toward any unpaid balance of the Money Judgment," the court filing reads.
  • There is currently no set date on when the auction for the seized bitcoin will take place.
The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

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 a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

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

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

Trending

1
Kwon Proposes Forking Terra in ‘Revival Plan 2’

"$UST peg failure is Terra’s DAO hack moment - a chance to rise up anew from the ashes," Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon said.

"$UST peg failure is Terra’s DAO hack moment - a chance to rise up anew from the ashes," Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon said.

2
Bitcoin Struggles at $27K-$30K Support Zone; Resistance at $35K

BTC's upside appears limited despite short-term support.

BTC's upside appears limited despite short-term support.

3
Art in the Age of the Metaverse

4
Crypto Funds Saw Year's Highest Inflows as Terra Crisis Crashed Markets

Some $274 million flowed into digital asset funds as investors bought the dip, amid a broad crypto-market sell-off triggered by Terra's turmoil.

Some $274 million flowed into digital asset funds as investors bought the dip, amid a broad crypto-market sell-off triggered by Terra's turmoil.