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U.S. Marshals Hold Third Bitcoin Auction

Op-ed - U.S. Marshals Hold Third Bitcoin Auction

The U.S. Marshals Service is holding its third Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR) bitcoin auction this March 5th, 2015. These bitcoin were seized from Ross Ulbricht, allegedly the Dread Pirate Roberts, in relation to the Silk Road prosecution, an online black market bust primarily related to the sale of illegal drugs.

At auction are 50,000 bitcoin separated into two series. The first (series A) will consist of ten blocks of 2,000 bitcoin each, requiring a deposit of $100,000. The second series (B) will consist of ten blocks of 3,000 bitcoin each, requiring a deposit of $150,000.

Not all of the coin at auction were necessarily involved in some form of illegal transaction. There were some legitimate merchants who sold perfectly legal goods through the Silk Road platform.

Like the previous two auctions, the current one is blind, meaning that bidders will not know the value of the other bids. The first auction was held last summer for just under 30,000 bitcoin, in nine blocks of 3,000 and a partial tenth block. Participants had to deposit a minimum of $200,000 to take part.

Tim Draper won all the blocks up for sale in the first auction.

He also claimed 2,000 bitcoin from the second auction of 50,000 bitcoin that was held in early December, 2014. The remaining 48,000 bitcoin (19 of 20 blocks) were won by syndicate bidders led by SecondMarket and the Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT).

The second, most recent auction had 11 registered bidders and 27 resulting bids.

Parties interested in the upcoming third auction should be aware that the bidder registration has opened from February 17th, but will close at 12:00 EST on Monday, March 2nd, 2015.

Deposits for the auction must originate from a bank located within the United States, and bidders must confirm that they have no association with Ross Ulbricht.

Registration consists of the deposit along with a manually signed pdf copy of the registration form, a copy of a government issued photo ID (of the bidder or control person) and a copy of the wire transfer receipt.

The auction starts at 08:00 EST on March 5thand will last until 14:00 EST the same day.

For more information about the auction, visit the U.S. Marshals site here.