A March 31, 2023 court filing related to the sentencing of James Zhong, who had stolen over 50,000 bitcoin from the Silk Road marketplace, stated that the U.S. government plans to sell 41,490 of those bitcoins “over the course of this calendar year.”
U.S. Government Unveils Plan To Sell Seized Bitcoin
According to a court filing related to the sentencing of James Zhong, the U.S. government, which holds a significant amount of Bitcoin, has disclosed its plan to sell 41,490 BTC in 2023. In November 2022, the government conducted a historical bitcoin seizure when it seized over 50,000 BTC from Zhong. The defendant pleaded guilty to wire fraud in September 2012, when he illegally purchased more than 50,000 bitcoins from the Silk Road marketplace on the dark web.
According to Dune Analytics data and public filings, Bitcoin.com News reported six days ago that the U.S. government has 205,515 BTC. Federal authorities intend to sell at least 41,490 Bitcoin worth $1.17 billion at current exchange rates, according to a filing submitted on Friday.
According to the court document, it has been noted that the government has commenced the liquidation of the 51,351.89785803 bitcoin, which was forfeited in the Ulbricht case before Judge Schofield. On March 14, 2023, the government sold 9,861.1707894 BTC from the aforementioned total and received a sum of $215,738,154.98 from the transaction.
Glassnode, an onchain analytics firm, had reported that the sale of 9,861 BTC was identified as the time when it was sent to a significant exchange before being sold. The court document further states that approximately 41,490.72 BTC from the forfeited bitcoin in the Ulbricht case remains, and the government plans to liquidate it in four additional batches throughout the calendar year.
The description of the onchain transfer provided by Glassnode indicates that the funds were likely transferred to Coinbase. If the funds were sold through Coinbase, it would differ from how the U.S. government sold stolen crypto assets at auction. When the government sells 41,490 BTC, it will be left with 164,025 BTC, or $4.65 billion worth.