One mystery winner takes 30,000 Bitcoin in US Marshals' Silk Road auction

One mystery winner takes 30,000 Bitcoin in US Marshals' Silk Road auction

Summary: A single bidder in the recent Silk Road Bitcoin auction has landed all 30,000 that went under the hammer.

TOPICS: Security, E-Commerce

A single mystery bidder has secured the entire Bitcoin stash seized by US authorities from Silk Road during the arrest the drug market's alleged founder Ross Ulbricht.

News of the auction's outcome came on Monday after a US Marshals Service spokesperson confirmed to Coindesk it completed the transaction to "one winning bidder".

The auction attracted 45 bidders, which submitted 63 bids during the 12 hour auction on 27 June. The transaction has since turned up on the Blockchain Bitcoin register.

The Bitcoin booty that went under the hammer last Friday was auctioned off in 10 blocks, with nine valued at 3,000 Bitcoin and one remaining block of 2,656.51 Bitcoin — a total of 29,656.51 Bitcoin.

While the identity of the winning bidder isn't known, an error by the Marshals Service resulted in the leak of a list of people who were interested in participating in the auction.

One person who did make his bids public was Barry Silber, CEO of Bitcoin investment vehicles SeconMarker and Bitcoin Investment Trust. Silber rallied together a syndicate which included 42 bidders, who lodged 186 bids for a total of 48,013 Bitcoin.

The Marshals Service required bidders to make a $200,000 deposit to participate in the auction and said it wanted to exclude anyone acting on behalf of Silk Road or Ross Ulbricht.

The Bitcoin that was auctioned were those seized from Silk Road's servers and not the currency seized from Ulbricht's hardware. Ulbricht has filed a claim for 144,000 Bitcoins — today worth around $92m — that was also seized from his hardware during the arrest.

Bitcoin's US dollar exchange rate continued to climb over the past week, according to Coindesk's charts, from $600 on the day of the auction to $635 on Tuesday.

Read more on Bitcoin

Topics: Security, E-Commerce

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Strange world

    It's a strange world when the even a government is involved in proliferating a Ponzi scheme.
    Buster Friendly
    • You, apparently, have no idea regarding governments and Ponzi schemes
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Nope

        No, government debt is backed by the continued operations of the government. A Ponzi scheme is selling paper backed by nothing at all.
        Buster Friendly
  • No "mystery winner" at all.

    His name is Tim Draper. engines...or reading the financial news...can be your friend.
  • Apparently someone still believes in Bitcoin

    And in all fairness, I think its survival is highly likely; though as a supplement to official money, rather than as a replacement for it); and its even possible that its advocates learned some useful lessons during the course of the recent bubble and its aftermath.

    The Anarcho-Capitalist Paradise does not appear to be imminent, but the experiment continues.
    John L. Ries
    • Why would bit on currency?

      If it's a currency, why would anyone bid on it in an auction? Would you bid $120 for $100 bill?
      Buster Friendly
      • Profit

        No but I would bid $80 for a $100 bill.
      • Currency speculation is an old practice

        About the best that can be said for it is that in the long run it stabilizes exchange rates.
        John L. Ries