US completes auction of 29,000 Silk Road bitcoins

The US Marshals Service has this week completed the sale of 29,000 bitcoins seized during the Silk Road raid that occurred late last year.

The coins, worth an estimated $18.7 million (£11 million), were auctioned on 27 June and bidders will be notified later today.

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The seized property is part of the civil forfeiture and criminal action charges brought against Silk Road owner Ross Ulbricht. The total sum of the bitcoins was split into nine blocks of 3,000 and one of 2,657.

However, Ulbricht is still contesting $85 million worth of bitcoins which were also seized, claiming them as his personal property, not assets of the Silk Road marketplace. These coins were not part of the auction.

An administrative error meant that the US Marshals inadvertently revealed the names of some of the bidders, which included auction site Second Market and marketplace Bitcoin Shop.

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The recent auction is also significant, as national governments react to the increasing popularity of crypto currencies.

In California, state laws required all transactions to take place with US currency, but this has now been overturned as individuals and even professional businesses look to utilise digital currencies.