FBI can't gain access to Silk Road mastermind's Bitcoin stash

By on October 7, 2013, 11:45 AM

The alleged mastermind behind the Silk Road has asked a judge for more time to put together the best possible bail proposal during a recent court appearance. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero was skeptical about what Ross Ulbricht’s public defender Brandon LeBlanc could put together in that short amount of time but granted the extension anyway.

Perhaps more pressing is the issue of Bitcoins and what the FBI plans to do with the ones they’ve found and the ones still deemed missing. The alphabet boys initially seized more than 26,000 Bitcoins and plan to store them until the judicial process is over. After that, they are a bit unsure. “We will probably just liquidate them,” according to an FBI spokesperson.

The Bitcoins they have seized thus far were just the ones held in Silk Road accounts, meaning it belongs to (or, used to belong to) Silk Road users. The FBI has been unable to get their hands on Ulbricht’s personal stash of Bitcoin – commission he is said to have earned for running the site.

The FBI spokesperson said this was about $80 million worth, which was held separately and is encrypted. If true, that’s around 600,000 Bitcoin which would make up about five percent of all Bitcoin currently in existence. That’s pretty impressive when you stop and think about it.

Unsurprisingly, the FBI spokesperson said there isn’t likely to be restitution in the case. If someone buys something illegal, they can’t get their money back, she said.

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