FBI seizes 144,000 Bitcoins from Silk Road founder worth $28.5 million

By on October 26, 2013, 12:00 PM
fbi, bitcoin, bitcoins, deep web, silk road, ross ulbricht, drug market

When the Federal Bureau of Investigation nabbed alleged Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, they left behind one giant piece of the puzzle – the mastermind’s hidden stashes of Bitcoins that may collectively be worth as much as $80 million.

When the FBI took down the Deep Web underground market on October 1, they seized nearly 30,000 Bitcoins in the process. Those funds are now worth roughly $6 million based on current exchange rates and on Friday, the FBI located and seized a stash of 144,000 Bitcoins believed to have belonged to Ulbricht.

In total, the FBI is now in control of 174,000 or so Bitcoins which is about 3.15 percent of all Bitcoins in circulation. What’s more, another stash of 110,000 Bitcoins worth $22 million has been potentially tied to Ulbricht. For the FBI to gain control over those funds, however, they will need more than just the address of the Bitcoins.

Specifically, they would need to have access to the private key for the wallet. That key could very well be hidden away on a computer somewhere – anywhere – that may or may not have been in Ulbricht’s possession at the time he was arrested. Of course, it’s also entirely possible that the FBI already has the key and has yet to move the funds to their own account.

An FBI spokesperson previously said they will likely exchange the Bitcoins for dollars once Ulbricht’s trial or settlement is over with.




User Comments: 11

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Mortalife Mortalife said:

"This is our money now.."

3 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"This is our money now.."

Yep, legalized robbery!

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Yep, legalized robbery!
Clifford, you don't believe in Bitcoins anyway, so how could this be "legalized robbery"?

The funny thing here is, the FBI may have inadvertently legitimized Bitcoin as, "legal tender", in the process.

As you should well know, you don't get to keep the money you've received from selling illegal drugs, it's part of the contraband. (So are the guns).

So now, it's a bit chilly out today. Why don't you come down off that breezy soapbox, and come inside with the rest of us?

Or did I forget something. Like maybe you think selling heroin isn't illegal when it's done over the internet?

1 person liked this | Guest said:

@ captaincranky : Keep believing everything you're told; life is simpler that way.

1 person liked this | Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Honestly, the FBI shouldn't be allowed to seize whatever they want, this isn't US dollars... Our Government is out of control!

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Honestly, the FBI shouldn't be allowed to seize whatever they want, this isn't US dollars... Our Government is out of control!
How could you possibly say that? After all, this is the, "land of the free, and the home of the brave".

And actually, your dead wrong. If you want to believe that Bitcoins are legal tender, then they are part of someone's assets. If they were obtained though the commission of a felony, then they are contraband.

If the drugs were delivered anywhere on US soil, then the crime was committed in the US.

If I use your logic, then the hash I imported from Afghanistan should be legal, because it wasn't grown here. The Mexican that just sauntered across the border isn't an illegal alien, because he's not a US citizen, so our laws don't apply to him.

Most of what these threads amount to, is a bunch of jacka**es, deciding they're members of some secret world legislature, and that means they can set the bar for what is legal, and what laws should be enforced, wherever it's momentarily convenient.

@ captaincranky : Keep believing everything you're told; life is simpler that way.
Keep posting as a "guest", so I can keep believing that your opinion is invalid. But wait, that is easier for me. Hm, a conundrum.:oops:

ikesmasher said:

Honestly, the FBI shouldn't be allowed to seize whatever they want, this isn't US dollars... Our Government is out of control!

Its not ANY nations dollar. the currency has no physical foundation. The FBI, if they dont sell it, can just as well leave the coins in some account rotting somewhere, and bitcoins' value will fluctuate accordingly.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You guys crack me up. LOL

1 person liked this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

The FBI, if they dont sell it, can just as well leave the coins in some account rotting somewhere, and bitcoins' value will fluctuate accordingly.

Complete the circle. FBI uses the bitcoins as a confidential informer discretionary fund, and the recipients go on a Mexican Oxycontin shopping spree.

Guest said:

Damn, he could have bought a lot of a$$ protection in jail for that...if the soap-wielding bandits accept bitcoin, that is.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Complete the circle. FBI uses the bitcoins as a confidential informer discretionary fund, and the recipients go on a Mexican Oxycontin shopping spree.
The whole sordid affair makes me want to clap my hands, and stomp my feet. Here's the complete incidental music for these homespun doings:

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

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