Feds look to money in seized bitcoins at report costs • TechCrunch

Federal prosecutors are looking to unload 513 bitcoins seized as a part of a drug case in Salt Lake Metropolis. They initially belonged to 1 Aaron Shamo, who was arrested earlier this 12 months for allegedly participating in a large fentanyl distribution scheme, the web parts of which netted the cryptocurrency in query.

Price about $500,000 after they have been seized, their price has now ballooned to greater than $8.4 million — and there’s no approach the feds are letting that get away.

The U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace in Utah has put within the requisite paperwork to promote the bitcoins whereas they’re scorching. There’s appreciable debate about how cryptocurrencies ought to be thought of in conditions like this — is it property, like a automobile, or forex, like a trash bag full of money (one thing additionally recovered within the operation)?

Doesn’t matter to the feds, who’re promoting it now whereas it’s greater than $17,000 per coin (to the moon!) and can work out the main points later. Shamo has pleaded not responsible to the assorted costs, however his lawyer didn’t contest the sale of the bitcoins, so make of that what you’ll.

Assuming the value doesn’t fully collapse earlier than early subsequent 12 months, Utah may very well be getting an sudden money infusion — assuming the proceeds don’t must be returned to their former proprietor.

Some might imagine, in fact, that they need to put this sudden windfall on the desk and let it trip — maybe that $8.4 million will flip in to $80.4 million earlier than the case finishes.

That’s definitely what many would say at present of the tens of hundreds of bitcoins seized from the Silk Highway and auctioned off in 2014. They’d be price effectively over a billion at present (as Tim Draper, who purchased a lot of them, can tell you).

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