Single bidder takes all 30K bitcoins in Silk Road auction

After the US Marshals Service concluded its auction of bitcoins seized from the online drug bazaar, one sole bidder emerges as the take-all winner.

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CNET

The US Marshals Service just ended an auction where it sold off nearly 30,000 bitcoins. And, the entire stash went to one lone bidder.

"The US Marshals Bitcoin auction resulted in one winning bidder," Marshals Service spokeswoman Lynzey Donahue told CNET. "The transfer of the bitcoins to the winner was completed today."

The auction involved 29,656 bitcoins that the government seized from the defunct online drug market Silk Road last fall. The 12-hour auction took place on June 27, and interested bidders were able to register by making wire transfers of $200,000 to a government bank.

While successful, the auction did have a couple of mishaps. One of these mistakes included the Marshals Service accidentally leaking the names of more than a dozen people possibly preparing to anonymously bid in the auction.

The government agency declined to identify the single winner of the auction, but Donahue did say there were "45 registered bidders and 63 bids received."

Several well-known players in the Bitcoin community have said they participated in the auction but were outbid. According to The New York Times, a syndicate run by SecondMarket, Pantera Bitcoin, the Bitcoin Shop, and Coinbase said it did not win, as did Rangeley Capital and Alex Waters at CoinApex.

"While we are disappointed that our syndicate did not emerge as a winner in the auction, we are pleased to see such strong interest from other bidders," SecondMarket head Barry Silbert said in a statement, according to the Times. "The auction was a clear success and the result quite positive for Bitcoin."

The Marshals Service did not disclose the amount of the winning bid. But, going on the current prices of Bitcoin, which are hovering around $650, 30,000 bitcoins could net nearly $20 million. It appears the auction caused a spike in Bitcoin prices, which went from about $570 per coin at the beginning of the auction to nearly $655 per coin on Tuesday.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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