Home / Markets News & Opinions / U.S. Govt Schedules Final Bitcoin Auction from Silk Road Case, 44 000 Bitcoins Up for Grabs

U.S. Govt Schedules Final Bitcoin Auction from Silk Road Case, 44 000 Bitcoins Up for Grabs

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:45 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:45 PM

The U.S. government has announced a final auction to sell bitcoins seized during the arrest and subsequent prosecution of Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht.

The U.S. Marshals Service are auctioning off the last batch of bitcoins seized from Darknet drug market Silk Road. The Marshalls Service released a statement pointing to the sale of 44,341 bitcoins, a little over USD $10.6 million in today’s exchange rates.

“These bitcoins were held in wallet files that resided on certain computer hardware belonging to Ross William Ulbricht, that were seized on or about October 24, 2013,” the notice reads.

The press release from the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) website is available here. The full notice with details for bidders and more can be found here.

The auction is to be held during a six-hour period on November 5 between 0800 and 1400 EST and is openly only to pre-registered bidders. Usms-seal.svg

The bitcoins will be auctioned off in 21 blocks of 2,000 bitcoins and 1 more block of the remaining 2,341 bitcoins.

An excerpt from the notice read:

On January 27, 2014, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a Stipulation and Order for Interlocutory Sale of Bitcoins wherein the United States and Ross William Ulbricht agreed that the United States may sell any portion or all of these bitcoins on a date or dates in a manner to be determined by the government.

The registration period for bidding begins October 19 and closes a full two weeks later on November 2 midday. The winning bidders will be notified a day after the auction, on November 6.

To garner serious bidders and weed out the rest, the USMS mandates a $100,000 deposit. Applicants registering for the auction will have to submit a Government-issued photo ID among other conditions.

The first auction held in June 2014 for 30,000 bitcoins, an estimated USD $18 million at the time, was won by venture capitalist Tim Draper. The second sale, for 50,000 bitcoins was also partly won by Tim Draper after successfully bidding for 2,000 bitcoins.

At the time, the USMS seized more than 144,000 bitcoins, (approx $122 million at the time) from Ubricht’s laptop – the largest single seizure of the cryptocurrency, ever.

Images from Shutterstock & Wikimedia.