U.S. Marshall’s Service Auctions Off 2,700 Bitcoins Worth $1.6 Million

In the latest episode of what's become an ongoing Silk Road soap opera, the U.S. Marshals Service announced this week that it plans to auction more than 2,700 Bitcoins that were confiscated as a result of several investigations tied to the illegal marketplace. All tallied, the Bitcoins are worth in the neighborhood of $1.6 million in U.S. currency.

This isn't the first auction of forfeited Bitcoins from the Silk Road saga and it may not be the last. There have been four previous auctions of the digital currency from June 2014 to November 2015, all of which were seized during the prosecution of Ross Will Ulbricht, otherwise known by his online identity Dread Pirate Roberts.


The FBI raided and shutdown Silk Road in September 2013. Prior to the raid, When it was up and running, Silk Road was a popular site for purchasing illegal drugs and other shady miscellaneous items. Bitcoin became the preferred method of payment because of its anonymous nature, which obviously appealed to buyers.

Ulbricht, who authorities say ran Silk Road, was sentenced in May 2015 to life in prison for his part in overseeing more than $200 million of anonymous online drug sales through Silk Road. However, his is just one case of nine criminal, civil, or administrative matters from which the U.S. Marshals Service was able to confiscate 2,719 Bitcoins for its upcoming auction.

Out of those, only 2.8 Bitcoins originated from Ulbricht's case. Most of the Bitcoins (1,294 to be exact) came from a civil forfeiture case against Matthew Gillum, a Silk Road drug dealer who was sentenced to nine years in prison. Another 65 Bitcoins came from a case against Carl Force, a former U.S .Drug Enforcement Administration agent who received a 78-month prison sentence for stealing Bitcoins during the investigation, and another 664 before belonged to Sean Roberson, who also received 78 months for creating an online shop for selling counterfeit credit and debit cards.

The auction is set to take place August 22, 2016, Those interested in participating must register by August 18.