EY auctions AU$22m of seized bitcoins

At only the second ever bitcoin auction globally, AU$22 million worth of the digital currency was sold from over 24,000 units.

AU$22 million of bitcoin seized as proceeds of crime was sold at a global auction last week, Ernst & Young (EY) has announced.

EY transaction partner Adam Nikitins said multiple bidders claimed 24,518 units of the digital currency at auction between June 20-21.

"The auctions were highly successful and all bidders have been notified of the auction outcomes," Nikitins said in a statement. "The process was very competitive and demonstrates the growing appetite for digital assets such as bitcoin.

"The value of bitcoin increased significantly over the past month; however, bidding remained strong," he added.

EY did not disclose the price paid by bidders, the number of bidders involved, or the seller. Nikitins did, however, say last month that he believed interested parties would be from North America and Europe, and have experience in dealing with bitcoin.

The auction was the first bitcoin sale process of its kind in Australia and the second globally after the US Marshals auctioned Silk Road bitcoins in June 2014.

The Australian government last month reaffirmed plans for removing the double-tax treatment for digital currencies such as bitcoin.

The self-proclaimed Australain founder of bitcoin, Craig Wright, is attempting to build a large patent portfolio around digital currency, having allegedly filed more than 50 patent applications in the UK.

With AAP