The final batch of bitcoins seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) during the arrest of Ross Ulbricht, the alleged creator of the Silk Road, is set to be auctioned. On 5 November, 44,341 bitcoins (£7m, €9.4, $10.6m at current prices) will be offered in what will be the fourth auction of bitcoins confiscated from the now defunct dark web marketplace.
The US Marshals Service (USMS) will auction the bitcoins in 21 blocks of 2,000 bitcoins and one block of just over 2,341 bitcoins. In total, it will have auctioned more than 144,000 since they were seized from Ulbricht in 2013.
The price of bitcoin has dropped considerably since the first two auctions, however it has risen since the third auction earlier in 2015. The winner of the first two auctions was venture capitalist Tim Draper, who said at the time that not too much attention should be given to the market price of bitcoin at the time of the auction.
"The interesting part is that we are fixing valuation and the 200 bitcoins are worth about $120,000 today, but may be worth quite a bit more (or less) when the entrepreneur receives them," Draper said in a statement following the second auction.
The six-hour auction will take place between 8am and 2pm EST and will only be open to bidders who have pre-registered with the USMS.
From the US Marshals Service website
The registration period starts Oct 19 and runs until noon Nov 2, at which time potential bidders must have completed all registration requirements. Registration documents that were submitted for the Marshals' previous bitcoin auctions are not valid for this auction; interested bidders must submit new registration documents to be considered for this auction.