We reported last month that the U.S. Marshals Service had elected to launder and auction approximately 30,000 Bitcoins seized from the FBI’s raid on Silk Road. While it’s not clear that the seizure was entirely legal, there’s a lot of money at stake, and a lot of interested parties.
With those 30,000 Bitcoins clocking in at just under 20 million USD, according to current exchange rates, the coins have been auctioned in nine blocks of 3000 and one block of 2,657.
And the winner of all ten auctions (and the $20 million) is venture capitalist Tim Draper, who has also partnered with Vaurum, a Bitcoin exchange targeted at financial institutions which advertises its security and scale of infrastructure.
The plan is to use the 30,000 Bitcoins as a source of liquidity for Vaurum as it premieres in emerging markets, to make it easier for those in emerging markets like South America to migrate from unstable, mismanaged local currencies to the relative stability of Bitcoin.
Tim Draper released this statement regarding the purchase:
“Bitcoin frees people from trying to operate in a modern market economy with weak currencies. With the help of Vaurum and this newlypurchased bitcoin, we expect to be able to create new services that can provide liquidity and confidence to markets that have been hamstrung by weak currencies.
Of course, no one is totally secure in holding their own country’s currency. We want to enable people to hold and trade bitcoin to secure themselves against weakening currencies.”
Draper is formally best known for his coining of the phrase “viral marketing.”