On Monday, the US Marshals Service (USMS) announced that it will auction off 50,000 bitcoins belonging to Ross William Ulbricht. Ulbricht, allegedly under the moniker Dread Pirate Roberts, is suspected of running the first Silk Road, the hidden website that was often used to traffic drugs and other illegal sales. Ulbricht had 114,000 bitcoins stored on his various computers when the devices were seized by federal authorities during an arrest in San Francisco last October.
The USMS auction will take place on December 4. Today, a bitcoin is worth about $377.60, making the assets up for auction worth around $18.88 million.
The announcement comes several months after an initial auction of bitcoins taken from the Silk Road’s servers. In June, venture capitalist Tim Draper bought almost 30,000 bitcoins for $18 million. (Five months ago, bitcoins were worth about $200 more per unit than they are today.) The auction itself went off relatively smoothly, but not until after the USMS sent an e-mail CCing, rather than BCCing, all those interested in it.
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