Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht forfeits $3,000,000,000 in BTC to the US government

Key Takeaways:

  • Silk Road Ross Ulbricht has forfeited $3 billion worth of Bitcoin to the U.S. government.
  • The BTC would help extinguish Ulbricht's debt to the government.
Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht forfeits $3,000,000,000 in BTC to the US government
Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht has forfeited $3 billion in crypto assets to the U.S. government. Image from freepik

NEW DELHI ( — Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the now-defunct dark web marketplace, has agreed to forfeit his claim to Bitcoin (BTC) worth nearly $3 billion to the U.S. government. The cryptocurrency would go towards repaying Ulbricht’s $183 million debt to the U.S. government.

The Silk Road founder’s crypto assets include approximately 69,370 BTC, Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Bitcoin SV (BSV), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). As per a 2021 court filing, the government will sell Ulbricht’s crypto assets to settle the loan.

In detail, Silk Road was a digital black market platform that hosted money laundering activities and illegal drug transactions using Bitcoin. The FBI shut it down in 2013. In 2020, the Justice Department seized the massive stash of crypto in Nov 2020 from a hacker known only as “Individual X.”

The hacker had stored the cryptocurrencies from Silk Road in 2013 and moved them to a private wallet.

After Ulbricht’s arrest, the Justice Department made a deal with the Silk Road founder in 2021. Ulbricht will surrender his Bitcoin in exchange for restitution as per the deal.

The parties agree that the net proceeds realized from the sale of subject property forfeited pursuant to this agreement shall be credited toward any unpaid balance of the money judgment.

Excerpt from the court’s order

As a result of the settlement, Ulbricht does not have to worry about the burden of paying restitution in the case of his release.

Deal A Hopeful Sign Of Ross Ulbricht’s Release?

In 2015, the court sentenced Ross Ulbricht, also known by the pseudonym ‘Dread Pirate Roberts,’ to two life sentences plus 40 years without the possibility of parole. Furthermore, his appeal was denied, as was his request for a Presidential pardon.

However, it seems the deal with the Justice Department might be a break for Ulbricht. The repayment of restitution means the government will not seize Ulbricht’s income in prison. Moreover, he may even keep any previously unknown caches of Bitcoin that he may possess.

Ross Ulbricht’s mother, Lyn Ulbricht, told Wired that the restitution repayment was a significant victory. Moreover, she also took the opportunity to state the case against her son was “weak and misrepresented.

However, Lyn noted that the Silk Road founder could not hold any financial assets in prison despite the deal.

We’re very pleased that the financial penalty that was wrongly imposed on Ross has been reversed, just as other false charges against him were dropped in federal court after trial.

Lyn Unbricht told Wired

At present, the courts have not set a date for Ulbricht’s crypto assets auction.

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