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US to sell $117 million worth of Bitcoin tied to Silk Road seizures

US to sell $117 million worth of Bitcoin tied to Silk Road seizures

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The US government has seized nearly $117 million in Bitcoin from high-profile Silk Road cases to now be auctioned. The forfeited assets originated from the conviction of corrupt investigator Shaun Bridges and a dark web drug operation involving two Maryland residents. The forthcoming crypto asset sale represents continued reclamation from years of cybercrime crackdowns.

In line with expected turbulence around Bitcoin’s upcoming “halving,” analysts warn that over half of the publicly traded mining firms may no longer operate profitably if crypto prices don’t rally. With reduced emission rewards ahead but energy and infrastructure costs remaining the same, thinner margins can quickly flip to losses without sufficient appreciation. However, miners employ varied strategies to hedge exposures using derivatives.

Meanwhile, demand persists for stablecoins: volumes surged 33% this past week across nine major blockchains. Ethereum led in transfer value, while Solana topped 5 million transactions over that period. Notably, Ethereum layer 2 leader Arbitrum continues to thoroughly dominate rivals Polygon and Optimism in stablecoin activity as scaling solutions enhance usability.

Today’s Newsletter

  • US to sell $117 million worth of Bitcoin tied to Silk Road seizures
  • 11 Bitcoin miners may not mine profitably post halving
  • 33% surge in weekly stablecoin volume across 9 blockchains, Artemis reports

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Data powered by CoinGecko.

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REGULATION

US to sell $117 million worth of Bitcoin tied to Silk Road seizures

The US District Court has ordered the forfeiture and sale of nearly $117 million worth of Bitcoin linked to the notorious Silk Road dark web marketplace defunct since 2013. The assets connect to convictions of former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges already sentenced for stealing government-seized crypto during the case, as well as Maryland father and son dark web drug traffickers.

The considerable forfeited sum from these cybercrime prosecutions will be auctioned by the US Attorney General after a 60-day public comment window. While the crypto originally came from illegal underground sales, the government now stands to legally profit from selling the seized coins to the highest legal bidder. The sale marks continued fallout from the seismic takedown of the Silk Road and its massive flows of illicit Bitcoin. [cryptobriefing]

BITCOIN

11 Bitcoin miners may not mine profitably post halving

Eleven of the largest publicly traded Bitcoin mining firms face profitability risks after the upcoming halving event cuts their block rewards unless crypto prices rally significantly. Analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald modeled “all-in” per coin costs for miners, projecting most major players like Marathon and Riot Blockchain could effectively pay more to extract each Bitcoin than it sells for around today’s $23,000 price.

However, miners use varied tools to hedge volatility, commonly purchasing derivative instruments. And history shows that halvings often do eventually trigger appreciation by constricting supply. While thinner margins are assured in April’s halving absent a bull run, miners plan years ahead to survive cycles. Only the most inefficient face imminent danger, while leaders like Bitdeer and CleanSpark enjoy room to spare. However, uncertainty persists on whether demand can catch up to software-enforced emission cuts. [cointelegraph]

STABLECOINS

33% surge in weekly stablecoin volume across 9 blockchains, Artemis reports

Across the nine blockchains tracked by data aggregator Artemis, a sizable 33% surge occurred in weekly stablecoin transfer volume during the previous seven days. Despite an overall supply drop of 0.2%, transfers exceeded 10 billion, averaging 1.4 billion daily. The growth signals persisting transactional demand to move value using on-chain digital dollars.

Among layer 1 chains, Ethereum led in sheer transfer value at $24 billion, while Solana topped it in absolute transaction count at nearly 5 million stablecoin payments sent. As for layer 2s, Arbitrum continues to thoroughly dominate rivals, accounting for over 400% higher transfer volumes than Polygon and Optimism’s flows combined. Though arguably a still nascent niche, dedicated smart contract scaling solutions appear to fuel rapid growth for crypto settlements. [cryptobriefing]

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Other News

Next Week’s Token Unlocks

  • OP is gearing up for a 2.7% increase in supply with an upcoming unlock amounting to $81M, which is significant for its market cap of $2.9B.
  • SUI’s upcoming unlock will be more modest, with a 0.9% supply increase and $12M unlocking, maintaining its market cap at $1.4B.
  • DYDX will experience an unlock leading to a 10.6% supply increase, contributing to the next 7-day unlock volume of $87M, pushing its market cap to $821M.
  • RON’s forthcoming unlock of roughly $7M will result in a 1% supply increase, which will be reflected in its market cap of $649M.
  • AKT, newly listed, is expecting an unlock that will result in a 0.2% supply increase with $1.6M unlocking, impacting its market cap of $646M.
  • GMT’s supply is set to increase by 1.3%, with an unlock of roughly $6M, reflecting on its market cap of $432M.
  • AGIX anticipates a 0.7% supply uptick with an unlock of $2.4M, poised to influence its market cap of $328M.
  • YGG will unlock $7.5M, leading to a 5.83% increase in supply, and it will be interesting to see how this affects its market cap of $127M.
  • ACA’s unlock will contribute to a 3.1% supply rise, with $2.3M being unlocked, making an impact on its market cap of $74M.

Data powered by Token.unlocks.

Diego & Vince

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