Australia to Auction $11.49 Million Worth of Bitcoins Confiscated After the Closure of Silk Road
Global assurance, tax and advisory services firm, Ernst & Young, will facilitate a first-of-its-kind Bitcoin sale process in Australia on June 20.
Going by its current rate (1 BTC = $526), the 24,518 Bitcoins up for grabs, split into 11 lots of 2,000 coins and one lot of approximately 2,518, are worth about $13 million.
The Bitcoins are 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.
Silk Road treasure brought to the hammer
144,000 Bitcoins were seized from Ulbricht after he was found guilty on all counts of being the criminal mastermind running the Silk Road where items such as narcotics, fake IDs and other illegal goods were sold using Bitcoin for payment.
The coming auction will be the second globally following the 2015 sale of 50,000 units of the digital currency worth about $13.5 million at the time by the U.S. Marshals.
Bidding registration opens on June 1 and closes on June 7. Bidders will be able to bid on one lot or multiple lots. The 48-hour sealed auction will take place at exactly 12.01am.
Ernst & Young expects digital asset investment managers, digital currency exchanges, investment banks and hedge funds to make up the bulk of the bidders and most are expected to be from North America and Europe.
Adam Nikitins says:
"This current wallet is an extremely large holding of Bitcoin. This will be a pretty hotly contested auction, more competitive than previous auctions because the price volatility has reduced."
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice in Victoria state declined to comment, citing commercial considerations.