Tech

Feds Auctioning Off Thousands of Silk Road Bitcoins

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Steve Ambrose Contributor
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A federal agency is scheduling an auction for thousands of units of one of the most well-known cryptocurrencies in the country.

The U.S. Marshals Service is planning to auction off more than 44,000 Bitcoins, valued at roughly $10 million, in November. The auction stems from the trial and conviction of Ross Ulbricht, owner and operator of Silk Road.

The Bitcoins will be sold in large blocks. Twenty-two blocks contain 2,000 Bitcoins, and one block contains 2,341 coins. At current market prices — $250 per Bitcoin — the blocks are worth half a million dollars each.

Registration for the auction begins Oct. 19 and will continue through Nov. 2, “at which time potential bidders must have completed all registration requirements.” Only those who have pre-registered will be allowed to bid.

The bids will be accepted by email.

The auction will actually take place on Nov. 5 and the winning bidder will be notified the following day.

Bitcoins are a form of digital currency. It is a “peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen.” (RELATED: First Ever License For Bitcoin Company Goes To Goldman Sachs-Backed Start-Up)

Silk Road was essentially an online black market website frequently used to anonymously buy and sell illegal goods and services. The Federal Bureau of Investigations shut down the site in Oct. 2013 and charged Ulbricht with various counts of conspiracy for trafficking narcotics, computer hacking, and money laundering. He is now serving a life sentence for his connection to the website.

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