U.S. appeals court finalizes mandate for forfeiture of Silk Road bitcoin

A U.S. appeals court finalized a mandate on Wednesday that formalizes the forfeiture of 69,370 of bitcoin and other crypto connected to the now-defunct Silk Road dark web market. The judgment was first made in August, but will now take effect according to a filing in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The filing on Wednesday lists Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht as a defendant, two claimants and the U.S. government as a plaintiff. The U.S. government had already been in control of the crypto after it was handed over by a so-called “Individual X” who hacked into Silk Road and gained control of its funds, according to the original complaint. In 2020, the U.S. Justice Department seized and began seeking the official forfeiture of the crypto, which at the time was valued at over $1 billion. A few days earlier, 69,369 bitcoins were moved out of a wallet address, marking the first such activity for the collected holdings since 2015, according to previous reporting by The Block. Movements of the funds are closely tracked, as market participants frequently speculate about the possible impact any large sale by the U.S. government could have on bitcoin’s price.