US Marshals have sold the last batch of 50,000 seized Silk Road bitcoins at auction after a surprisingly quiet sealed bidding process. The USMS has not announced the name of the winner of the entire collection of bitcoin but VC Tim Draper has been quietly buying these seized coins for the past year.
The auction marks the end of one of the oddest US auctions on record. When the Marshals “seized” the coins after the shutdown of the original Silk Road many suggested that the government would keep them or was unsure how to sell them. The first sale, in July 14, drove bitcoin prices from $570 to about $640. The second sale, in December, barely moved the price at all.
It’s fascinating that the US government sold these at all. I reported that the government was looking to sell the bitcoin in January 2014 and it took six months to begin the auction process. In that time, hackers attempted to figure out just where the BTC came from and went and many even targeted Silk Road auction bidders with phishing scams.
Ultimately, however, this sale means that the government is now out of the Bitcoin business, a prospect should relieve fans of BTC who thought the government would use the coins to manipulate prices or drive up demand. In the end, the bitcoins went to auction alongside a Gulfstream jet, a Vizio TV, and a bus.