US government prepares to auction $17 million worth of Silk Road bitcoins

bitcoin.pngThe US Marshals are preparing to auction off the bitcoins seized from the raid of anonymous, black market site Silk Road. According to the asset forfeiture auction document, the auction will take place on June 27th and winners will be notified on June 30th.

The coins on auction are those seized from the Silk Road servers and not the personal coins confiscated from the wallet of the site administrator, Ross Ulbricht (aka Dread Pirate Roberts.) The total number of bitcoins is a little over 29,656.51 bitcoins, which is approximately $17 million at current market price (about $589.50 USD at

Market value today dropped almost $100 after the announcement of the upcoming sale. Buyers and sellers could be anticipating a slew of bitcoins re-entering the market at the end of June. Today’s USD trade volume in bitcoins was 77,749 BTC, which is a little over double the amount being sold at the auction.

Even with the drop, the timing of this sale is good for the government. The market value for the bitcoins the government holds is still much higher than it was at the time of the seizure. In October 2013, around the Silk Road raid, USD value of USD was $125; today, even after the initial drop in value, BTC today is at around $590. The US federal government stands to make a heady profit off this asset auction.

Interested in bidding?

Interested bidders will need deep pockets. The bitcoins seized by the government will be sold in 9 blocks of 3,000 coins and one block of 2,656.51. Each block would trade for approximately $1.7 million. Those planning to make a bid will be required to make a “refundable” deposit of $200 thousand.

Bids will be accepted by e-mail from registered bidders using a form available from the U.S. Marshals Web page. Bidding registration opens 9:00 AM EDT on Monday, June 16, 2014 and closes Noon EDT on Monday, June 23, 2014.