Today is the day for some high rollers to get their hands on bitcoin in a way unlike we have ever seen before. A massive bitcoin auction is taking place from 6 am to 6 pm Eastern time, and it’s being held by the United States Marshals Service.
Up for grabs: 29,656.51306529 bitcoins seized from the Silk Road operation that was shut down by federal authorities in late 2013.
Silk Road had served as the web’s most popular illicit marketplace, where users could buy anything from hard drugs to weaponry using bitcoin. With the take-down came the arrest of the alleged Dread Pirate Roberts, Ross Ulbricht (he’s currently awaiting trial).
Today’s auction comes following a registration process that began nearly two weeks ago. Bidders interested in participating were required to fill out a registration form, provide government-issued identification, and wire $200,000 as a deposit to the Marshals service.
It all leads up to today, where there will be a so-called “Series A” auction for 9 blocks of 3,000 bitcoins, and a “Series B” auction for 2,646 bitcoins.
And while the auction is expected to be held in secrecy, a Marshals Service staffer last week inadvertently released the email addresses of individuals who had inquired.
Among them include a Coinbase executive, a BNP Paribas employee, and Barry Silbert of SecondMarket/Bitcoin Investment Fund.
Silbert announced recently the creation of a syndicate that would allow investors to join the auction in a pool without having to commit to depositing $200,000.
Certainly, it should be interesting what comes from today’s auction, and we’ll have more information on the results just as soon as it becomes available (if it becomes available!).