Menu
US Marshals will auction rather than destroy seized Silk Road bitcoins

US Marshals will auction rather than destroy seized Silk Road bitcoins

The law enforcement agency could have simply deleted the virtual currency

More than US$17 million in bitcoins seized from the Silk Road is planned for auction by the U.S. Marshals Service, affirming that the country's law enforcement views the virtual currency like any other asset.

Slightly more than 29,656 bitcoins will be auctioned online on June 27 over a 12-hour period, according to a notice. Interested bidders must put up a $200,000 deposit, provide a government-issued ID and certify they're not affiliated with alleged former Silk Road boss Ross William Ulbricht.

The law enforcement agency could have simply deleted the private encryption keys that allow the bitcoins to be transferred, effectively destroying $17.7 million worth of the virtual currency and casting doubt on its legitimacy.

But Bitcoin isn't illegal in the U.S., and while traditional banks are staying far away from it, the move by the marshals to unload it like any other asset would appear to give Bitcoin some circumstantial weight.

One interesting detail is that qualified bidders are required to send the $200,000 deposit via a wire transfer from a bank within the U.S., meaning the transaction for the bitcoins will have to touch the traditional banking system. The backing by the U.S. Marshals, however, might give banks more confidence if they figure out the deposit is potentially Bitcoin-related.

The bitcoins came from six wallets affiliated with the Silk Road, the online marketplace for mostly illicit goods that was shut down in October 2013. Ulbricht, who is being held without bail, is scheduled for trial in November.

Ulbricht, who allegedly went by the online handle "Dread Pirate Roberts," is fighting in court to reclaim part of a much larger batch of 144,342 seized coins, worth as much as $86.6 million.

The marshals will auction nine blocks of 3,000 bitcoins each and a tenth block with 2,656 coins. The deadline for registration is 12 p.m. EST on June 23, according to the agency.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CriminalU.S. Marshals Servicesecuritylegalcybercrime

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2015 and 2016 inductees - Darryl Swann, Dave Rosenberg, Gary Bigwood, Keith Watson, Mike Hill and Scott Green - to the inaugural Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed how the channel can collectively work together to benefit New Zealand, the Kiwi skills shortage and the future of the industry. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch
Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Show Comments