At least 4,000 bitcoins worth over $24 million will be forfeited by the United States government during a crackdown of vendors on dark web marketplaces.
As per a report by Coindesk, the department of justice for the district of Maryland said they had indicted two men for allegedly manufacturing and distributing drugs through dark web marketplaces. They collected proceeds from drug sales in bitcoin between November 2013 and June 2017.
“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 prosecutors said.
US authorities have seized cryptocurrencies in the past as well. This was the first time it was seized during a dark web crackdown. The US government had forfeited bitcoins from the founder of the defunct dark web marketplace Silk Road. They had also subsequently auctioned 80,000 bitcoins from 2013 to 2014.
More than 3,800 bitcoins (worth $51 million) were auctioned by the US Marshals Service earlier this year. Meanwhile, 500 bitcoins were confiscated by the US government in March.