The U.S. government has filed a notice outlining its intent to dispose of approximately $117 million worth of bitcoin seized from individuals involved in dark web drug activities. The seized funds, totaling nearly 2,875 bitcoins, belonged to Ryan Farace and Sean Bridges. The government also intends to sell an additional roughly 59 bitcoins that were solely in Farace's possession. The bitcoins were seized in 2021 as part of legal actions against Farace, also known as Xanaxman, who was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2018 for illegally selling Xanax on the dark web.
In the notice dated January 8, the government stated its plan to dispose of the seized bitcoin "in such manner as the United States Attorney General may direct." The filing revealed that at the time of the notice, the seized bitcoin was valued at about $133 million. Farace had used Silk Road, the notorious dark web marketplace, for his drug distribution activities.
Anyone wishing to claim an interest in the forfeited property has been given a 60-day window to do so, according to the government's statement. The move to sell the large quantity of bitcoin seized from dark web activities has drawn attention from market observers, who often speculate on the potential impact of such sales on the cryptocurrency's market price.
In a related development, a U.S. appeals court recently finalized a mandate formalizing the forfeiture of 69,370 bitcoins connected to the now-defunct Silk Road dark web market. The founder of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, is currently serving a life sentence in jail for operating the illicit platform from 2011 to 2013. The FBI shut down Silk Road in 2013 following Ulbricht's arrest.