The United States Marshals Service is going to sell another 44,341 bitcoins seized during the raid of the Silk Road marketplace. The final auction is planned to be held from 8 a.m. till 2 p.m. eastern on November 5.
Within the last year, the federal law enforcement agency has already sold the biggest part of the confiscated digital currency. In total, the US Marshals Service has taken over 144,000 bitcoins from Ross Ulbricht, the former operator of Silk Road. Additionally, the agency seized about 29,000 bitcoins from cryptocurrency wallets related to the online black market.
Those who wished to participate in the auction had to fill in the necessary documents during the registration period, which ran from October 19 to November 2. Foreign investors were able to participate only via a syndicate or a third party, as the auction is only open to the citizens of the US.
During the previous auction, held in March, the agency managed to sell more than 50,000 bitcoins to 14 bidders, with cryptocurrency company Cumberland Mining winning the majority.
A 31-year-old Ross Ulbricht founded the Silk Road market in January 2011 and had been running the website until his arrest in October 2013. He was accused of using the platform for money laundering and drug trafficking. Prosecutors say that at the time the website generated around $213.9 million in sales and $13.2 million in commissions.
Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison in the end of May. The judge Katherine Forrest cited six deaths from drugs purchased on Silk Road and five people he attempted to have killed.
According to prosecutors, the website turned into a trading hub with a limitless supply of drugs. Ulbricht is said to reach over one million drug agreements valued at more than $183 million.
Besides, he let thousands of drug dealers to enlarge their markets by selling drugs to more than 100,000 buyers from all over the world.
Whilst Ulbricht is serving his sentence in jail, a moderator of the /r/darknetmarkets subreddit, Gwern Branwen, and an investigator, known as “imposter”, have found a forum account owned by the Silk Road creator.
As Motherboard wrote, Ulbricht allegedly used it to ask for help in discovering 40,000 lost bitcoins and paid other users hundreds of bitcoins for help. Notably, he utilized the forum under the name Kohlanta, what is similar to Ko Lanta, an island in Thailand which Ulbricht traveled to.