The much awaited bitcoin auction by the United States Marshals Service is finally over. The US Marshals Service, in possession of confiscated bitcoins from the Silk Road investigation auctioned the last of them earlier on Thursday.
Thursday’s auction had about 44,341 bitcoins worth $17.21 million out for bidding by those who had earlier registered with the US Marshals Service. According to reports, the online auction saw 11 bidders bidding 30 times over a span of six hours. Completion of the latest auction signifies liquidation of all the bitcoins seized from the wallets belonging to Silk Road and its creator Ross Ulbricht’s personal possession by Baltimore Task Force and US Marshals Service.
It was earlier speculated that Genesis Trading, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group run by Barry Silbert and another bitcoin hedge fund by the name Binary Financial will be participating in the auction. However, the US Marshals Service has refused to divulge details about all the participants and winning bidders until the bitcoins are transferred from the federal agency’s possession to them. The Marshal Service is likely to release further information on Monday.
The Silk Road investigation was carried out by a joint task force comprising of agents from the US Secret Service and US Federal Bureau of Investigation. The deep web marketplace was responsible for selling illegal drugs and contraband. It was also alleged that one can hire contract killers on Silk Road as well. However, the allegation remains unproven.
Ross Ulbricht was arrested in early October 2013 for his involvement in the creation and operation of Silk Road. The arrest was accompanied by the confiscation of an estimated 174000 bitcoins, out of which 144000 bitcoins were found in possession of Ross Ulbricht. Ulbricht is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in a New York prison.