Silk Road forfeits $28 million worth of Bitcoins from its servers
Rick Bowmer AP Press Association Images
THE HIDDEN ONLINE marketplace Silk Road has forfeited Bitcoins worth $28 million to the US government.
Prosecutors had seized 29,655 Bitcoins from the Silk Road server, and announced the forfeiture of the Silk Road hidden website.
In a statement, US prosecutor Preet Bharara said that it was treating Bitcoin like any other asset involved in criminal activity.
We continue our efforts to take the profit out of crime and signal to those who would turn to the dark web for illicit activity that they have chosen the wrong path. These Bitcoins were forfeited not because they are Bitcoins, but because they were, as the court found, the proceeds of crimes.
Silk Road, a black market site which allowed users to buy and sell illegal goods, used Bitcoins for trading as it allowed the buyers to remain anonymous.
It was shut down in October when US authorities arrested and detained the alleged owner of the site Ross William Ulbricht, also known as Dread Pirate Roberts.
The authorities said that as part of its action against Ulbricht, an additional 144,336 Bitcoins – worth over $130 million – were found on computer hardware belonging to him.
Ulbreicht has filed a claim contesting the seizure, saying that since the Bitcoins were found on his personal computer, they belonged to him instead of Silk Road.