Today, federal attorneys announced the forfeiture of 29,655 bitcoins from the Silk Road server, adding up to over $28 million at current exchange rates. The forfeiture is part of a larger audit of the contents of the Silk Road servers, which had been seized in connection with an ongoing civil forfeiture action against the site — but before this announcement, the sheer volume of the site's wealth was still unclear.
Prosecutors made a point to say the bitcoins were being treated like any other currency seized in connection with a criminal investigation. "These bitcoins were forfeited not because they are bitcoins, but because they were, as the court found, the proceeds of crimes," US Attorney Preet Bahara told the press.
This most recent discovery is separate from an earlier bitcoin cache, nearly four times the size, which was discovered in Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht's personal possession in October. That stash has skyrocketed in price since the seizure, and is now worth more than $130 million. Ulbricht has contested the seizure, asserting that he is the personal owner of the bitcoins found on his personal hardware.