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US Government Plans to Sell $118 Million Worth of Seized Silk Road Bitcoin

The United States government’s decision to sell approximately $118 million worth of seized Silk Road Bitcoin has sparked discussions within the cryptocurrency market.

The announcement of this planned sale came through a forfeiture notice on January 10, which gained attention on social media on January 24.

This move follows the sentencing of Silk Road Xanax dealer Ryan Farace and his father Joseph Farace for money laundering conspiracy on January 8.

While some members of the crypto community expressed concerns that this auction might result in a significant Bitcoin “dump,” many market experts disagree.

Steven Lubka, the managing director at the Bitcoin exchange Swan Bitcoin, downplayed the impact of the sale, describing it as “peanuts” compared to the recent outflows from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).

The GBTC has sold a substantial 106,575 BTC worth $4.2 billion since converting to a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund on January 11, with an additional 10,871 BTC outflow on January 24.

Furthermore, the planned sale by the U.S. government represents only 1.5% of its total holdings of approximately 194,188 BTC, equivalent to $7.7 billion, acquired from three separate seizures in criminal cases.

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This figure still accounts for less than 1% of Bitcoin’s overall circulating supply.

The three sources of Bitcoin held by the U.S. government include 94,643 BTC seized in January 2022 from the 2016 Bitfinex hack, 69,369 BTC seized in November 2020 from the Silk Road, and 51,326 BTC seized from Silk Road hacker James Zhong.

Approximately 41,000 BTC is expected to be gradually offloaded through four sales scheduled throughout 2023.

Notably, the U.S. government has a history of auctioning off seized Bitcoin assets.

In 2014, venture capitalist Tim Draper purchased nearly 30,000 BTC through such an auction.

More recently, the government has opted to sell seized cryptocurrencies on exchanges instead of holding auctions, with the last known sale involving 9,118 BTC in March 2023.

Overall, the upcoming sale of seized Silk Road Bitcoin by the U.S. government is expected to have a limited impact on the cryptocurrency market, given its relatively small scale compared to recent market activities and the government’s total holdings.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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