The US government was granted permission by a federal judge in Utah this week to sell nearly $10 million worth of cryptocurrency previously seized from a dark net drug dealer.

According to Ars Technica’s Cyrus Farivar, the sale of 513 bitcoins and 512 Bitcoin Cash, currently worth $8.4 million and nearly $1 million, was approved Tuesday by US District Judge Dale Kimball.

The digital funds were taken from Utah resident Aaron Shamo, who was arrested over one year prior for allegedly running a multimillion-dollar counterfeit pharmaceuticals ring on the Dark Web.

Shamo is accused of using “pill presses, dies and stamps” to pass powerful and cheap opioids such as Fentanyl off as Oxycodone-type substances.

As noted by Farivar, prosecutors argued in favor of selling off the cache of digital currency due to the volatility of the Bitcoin market.

“Given Bitcoin’s incredible rise in price over the last year, the sale is likely to result in the highest number of dollars of any forfeited cryptocurrency associated with a criminal bust,” Farivar writes.

The cash from the sale will be transferred to accounts run by the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture.

Bitcoin rose to yet another all-time high Friday of nearly $18,000. The digital currency has climbed more than 1,700 percent in value since the beginning of 2017.


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