The US government has decided to auction off the crypto currency seized last year at Silk Road, commonly known as the “Ebay for drugs”. The US Marshals Service is hoping for a windfall: The US agency is providing 50,000 Bitcoin for sale (current value US$ 19 million) and is doing so online, probably pushing up the proceeds for the US government by millions of dollars.
By doing so the US government is revisiting a creative method of state funding. In July of this year 30,000 Bitcoin were offered. Even though that’s 20,000 Bitcoin less than are offered now, the virtual currency was worth considerably more. This is due to the Bitcoin price being about US$200 dollars lower than it was in the summer of 2014. The auction will take place on December 4th from 8 a.m. till 2 p.m. EST. All potential bidders must register by noon on December first, and the winning bidders will be notified the day after the auction.
However it is not certain that the US government will be able to claim the proceeds of the auction since Ross Ulbricht, the alleged mastermind of the Silk Road, still has to stand trial. If Ulbricht wins the court case he will receive the money obtained in the auction.
Nonetheless, this is probably not the last time we’ve heard about the US government selling crypto currency – with a total of 144, 342 units of the Silk Road’s digital currency seized.