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Check out the criminal indictment if you are interested, they explain it a bit.

From memory (which may be wrong), it sounded like he had something like 11 internal hot wallets, but while the coins were in escrow he used a database to link what user had what amount of coins. The government seized those 11 wallets, and based on the average daily holdings, now have like $3mm worth of BTC which they transferred to a single wallet (if you google, you can find the public record of that govt controlled wallet).

The indictment also explains that Silk Road used a "tumbler", which would route the BTC's through a series of random wallets so that it was not possible to match a user's initial sending of BTC to Silk Road with the eventual withdrawal by a seller of BTC's to another wallet or exchange.




What can the government do with seized BTC? They don't serve any purpose as evidence, obviously (since all the transaction info is public record). Can they be auctioned off? Sold?

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> What can the government do with seized BTC? They don't serve any purpose as evidence, obviously (since all the transaction info is public record). Can they be auctioned off? Sold?

Government seized real and tangible personal property is regularly either used by government or auctioned off, so I don't see why bitcoins would be any different.

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