The Sydney Morning Herald reports that authorities in Australia are sitting on 24,518 bitcoins confiscated from a convicted Silk Road drug dealer. They may soon become available for auction to the public.
In July, the US Marshals auctioned off a similar quantity of bitcoins- 30,000- confiscated from Silk Road servers. Investor Tim Draper had the winning bid in what was a high-profile process- a rare instance of a government authority dealing in digital currency.
In this case, Richard Pollard was handed an 11-year sentence after pleading guilty to commercial trafficking. Two months ago, a US man was handed a six-year sentence for his role as a drug dealer on the marketplace.
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Before the coins can become available for auction, they are first subject to a restraining order, after which there will be an appeal period for 28 days. Proceeds from the auction go to the state’s consolidated funds.
When Victoria Police first searched his property in December 2012, the coins would have been worth $300,000 (USD). When confiscated in December 2013- near the height of bitcoin prices- they were worth as much as $28 million. Based on today’s prices, they are worth almost $8 million.
Judge Paul Lacava noted how Pollard misused his IT talents for trafficking.
While out on bail, police found that Pollard had resumed trafficking, discovering cash and drug paraphernalia in his car after a random police check.