The U.S. Marshals Service on Friday auctioned off thousands of bitcoins seized when notorious Internet black market Silk Road was shut down. A total of about 29,656 bitcoins (worth nearly $18 million at Friday's prices) were put on the block at 6 A.M. ET, and the sealed-bid auction concluded at 3 P.M. ET. There were 10 total lots: nine groups of 3,000 bitcoins (equivalent to around $1.8 million) and one of the remaining 2,656 and change. Bidders had to put $200,000 down as a deposit to ensure they were serious. The winners will be notified Monday.
Big money from Wall Street and Silicon Valley is rumored to have been interested in the auction, and a list of potential bidders was accidentally leaked earlier this week. A Marshals Service official told NBC News on Friday "it is still being determined" what information will be publicly released about the auction results. The Service is retaining another huge block of bitcoins taken from alleged Silk Road leader Ross Ulbricht; no plans have been announced regarding whether these too will be liquidated.
Sign up for top Technology news delivered direct to your inbox
End of Silk Road: Slip-ups in building Internet drug market led to Ross Ulbricht, court documents say
30,000 bitcoin forfeiture in Silk Road case is biggest ever, prosecutors say
U.S. Marshals Accidentally Leak Bitcoin List
— Devin Coldewey, NBC News
First published June 27 2014, 5:12 PM
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer at NBC News; he started his role in April of 2013. Coldewey is responsible for original reporting on a number of tech topics, such as photography, biotechnology, and Internet policy.
... Expand Bio
Coldewey joined NBCNews.com from TechCrunch, where he was an editor covering a similarly wide variety of content and industries. His personal website is coldewey.cc.