Financial services firm Ernst and Young has announced it has successfully auctioned off 24,518 Bitcoins at a closed international auction which ended on June 21. The auction was the first of its kind in Australia and the second ever globally.
Bidders were made to deposit $250,000 as well as meet other financial requirements to bid for the available 11 lots of 2,000 Bitcoins and one lot of 2,518 Bitcoins. Going by its current rate (1 BTC = $634), the auctioned 24,518 Bitcoins are worth about US$16 million.
The Bitcoins are the proceeds of crime as part of the civil forfeiture connected to the conviction of Ross Ulbricht for running the Silk Road drug marketplace last year.
The auction of the digital currency was the second-ever globally. It follows the 2015 sale of 50,000 units of the digital currency worth about $13.5 million at the time by the U.S. Marshals.
Ernst and Young transactions partner Adam Nikitins said in a statement:
"The auctions were highly successful and all bidders have been notified of the auction outcomes. The process was very competitive and demonstrates the growing appetite for digital assets such as Bitcoin. The value of Bitcoin increased significantly over the past month, however bidding remained strong.”
However, E&Y declined to disclose the bid price for each block and the number of bidders who participated in the auction.