Bitcoin users are pissed and retaliating after the FBI seized their digital currency as part of its case against underground marketplace Silk Road.
Last week, the FBI took down the Silk Road website and froze the over 26,000 Bitcoins that were being held for customers as they made their transactions, as noted by the Guardian. The FBI put these Bitcoins into a separate holding address blockchain.info. Angered by this action, supporters discovered the FBI’s wallet details — the information necessary for performing transactions and sending public messages.
From there, people began posting their protests and making very small transactions with the seized Bitcoins. Some exclaimed that the government wouldn’t be able to do this if the currency were recognized, others talked about the Bitcoins’ true ownership: the people.
Silk Road was an underground online marketplace that many people used for drug-related and other illegal activities. The site’s alleged owner Ross Ulbricht was arrested last week with charges for drug trafficking, computer hacking conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and for allegedly hiring a hitman to kill an employee. The story is definitely one of the most outlandish Silicon Valley has hear in awhile.
Silk Road used both the Tor network and Bitcoin as a way to keep transactions anonymous. The digital currency’s value took a steep dive after the news hit.
We have attempted contacting the FBI for comment, but have had difficulty reaching a representative due to the government shutdown.