On Thursday, the US Marshals Service held its third auction of Bitcoins seized from Ross Ulbricht, recently convicted of operating the online black market Silk Road, with a sale of 50,000 Bitcoins attracting more demand than the previous auction, reported Reuters.
The US government had 14 registered bidders for the 34 bids received, said Marshals Service spokeswoman Lynzey Donahue. That was higher than the bids received at the previous Bitcoin auction in December, when only 11 bidders submitted 27 bids. The Marshals Service’s first auction last June drew 45 bidders and 63 bids.
Donahue told Reuters that she expects the auction process to be finished as early as Monday, when the financial transactions have been completed and the Bitcoins transferred to the winning bidders. The winning bidders were expected to be notified Friday.
Barry Silbert, whose firm, SecondMarket, won 48,000 Bitcoins auctioned in December, said his firm would participate in Thursday’s auction, but the company has not created a syndicate for the sale, said Reuters. The news agency also reported that Pantera Capital said in its newsletter that it would also be participating and has formed a syndicate for the auction.
Venture capitalist Tim Draper, who won 2,000 Bitcoins in the December auction and swept the June auction, did not submit a bid for the most recent auction. But he stated in an email to Reuters that the Bitcoins on the auction block are “probably…the best deal anyone will get.”
The New York Times reported that overall, the US government has recovered 173,991 Bitcoins from Silk Road, meaning it still has a fairly significant amount of the digital currency to sell. Donahue told the paper in an email that the Marshals Service anticipates selling the remaining 44,341 Bitcoins “in the coming months,” but that “no exact dates have been determined.”
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