US Govt To Confiscate Huge Bitcoin Cache From Dark Web
The US government continues to monitor the Dark Web carefully and bring to task both companies and individuals who rely on sophisticated web systems to evade law enforcement.
The authorities recently announced that they are looking to forfeit the 4,000 bitcoins (BTH) seized in a recent crackdown on the dark web. The total worth of the BTH cache is around $24 million at current market prices.
The request for forfeiture came in with the indictment of the two men that were holding the BTH cache. The two arrested and charged were Robert Swain and Ryan Farace. Their charges are based on the manufacturing of illegal drugs and then selling them over the dark web. The two operated between 2013 to 2017 and earned a lot of money during this time period.
In a statement, prosecutors said
As part of the indictment, the government seeks the forfeiture of no less than $5,665,000, plus the value of 4,000 bitcoin believed to be the proceeds of the illegal drug sales.
The dark web is the dark underbelly of the Internet, where a whole lot of illegal items and services are traded. Swain and Farace ran a successful racket drug racket and were open to receiving BTH for their drugs. They accumulated quite a stash during the last few years.
Why The Dark Web Encourages Bitcoin Payments
To understand the dark web better one must make a comparison between the internet and dark web. The internet can be accessed by just about anyone who is connected and can either type in a URL or use a search engine to find what they are looking for. The dark web is a lot more complicated and cannot be accessed via a traditional search engine. Users need special software programs and specific passwords to be able to gain access to the dark web where all kinds of illegal activities and goods are traded.
The dark web has benefited quite a lot from bitcoin. The cryptocurrency allows for anonymous and quick transactions across domestic and international borders and makes it perfect for operators dealing in illegal activities. Experts estimate that BTH transactions for drug payments via the dark web amount to over $100 million. Though bitcoin is not as anonymous as people think, there are a few services out there that help to further mask bitcoin transactions.
This is not the first time that bitcoin has been seized by the government. The authorities seized 80,000 BTH when they raided Silk Road and auctioned all of the seized BTH between 2013 and 2014.
This BTH forfeiture would further add to the US government's stash of cryptocurrencies. In future, the government may end up auctioning seized BTH as it does with seized criminal property.
Kate is market industry expert who has spent majority of her life on wall street, she has thought to have a knack at picking the right stocks to invest into. With the rise in cryptocurrencies she has is now able to use her expertise to a new market and give us insights on what we can expect in the present and the future.