The federals seek to collect the seized bitcoins at record prices

Federal prosecutors are trying to download 513 bitcoins seized as part of a drug case in Salt Lake City. Originally they belonged to Aaron Shamo, who was arrested earlier this year for allegedly participating in a mbadive fentanyl distribution scheme, whose online portions scored the cryptocurrency in question.

Valued approximately $ 500,000 when seized, its value has now increased to more than $ 8.4 million – and there is no way the feds are letting that escape.

The US Attorney's Office in Utah has put the necessary paperwork to sell the bitcoins while they are hot. There is considerable debate about how cryptocurrencies should be considered in situations like this: is it a property, such as a car or a coin, like a garbage bag filled with cash (something also recovered in the operation)?

It does not matter to the feds, who are selling it now, while it is more than $ 17,000 per coin (to the moon!) And will resolve the details later. Shamo pleaded not guilty to the various charges, but his lawyer did not contest the sale of the bitcoins, so do whatever you want.

Assuming the price does not completely collapse before the beginning of next year, Utah may be receiving an infusion of unexpected cash, baduming the revenues do not have to be returned to its former owner.

Some may think, of course, that they should put this unexpected windfall on the table and let it run, maybe that $ 8.4 million turn to $ 80.4 million before the case ends.

That's what many would say today of the tens of thousands of bitcoins seized from the Silk Road and auctioned off in 2014. Today they would be worth more than a billion (as Tim Draper, who bought many of them, can tell you).

Featured image: Bryce Durbin

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