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U.S. Marshals’ bitcoin auction produces one anonymous winner

By Reuters
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 18:08 EDT
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A pile of Bitcoin slugs sit in a box (AFP)
 
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By Nate Raymond and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

(Reuters) – The U.S. Marshals Service had one winner in its auction of nearly 30,000 bitcoin, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday, without revealing the name of the successful bidder.

The U.S. Marshals Service held an auction on Friday for 29,655 bitcoin seized during a raid on Silk Road, an Internet black-market bazaar where authorities say illegal drugs and other goods could be obtained. The winner was notified on Monday evening and the transfer of bitcoin took place Tuesday, according to Lynzey Donahue, spokeswoman for the USMS.

The auction drew 63 bids from 45 registered bidders on Friday. The price of bitcoin rose on Tuesday, adding to Monday’s gains. It was last priced at $652.02, up 2 percent on the session, and has gained more than 15 percent since June 25, according to digital currency exchange Coindesk.

Several prominent participants have come forward to say that their bids were not accepted. Barry Silbert of SecondMarket Holdings, which runs a bitcoin investment platform, said on Monday his firm was outbid, as did hedge fund Pantera Capital, which bid below the market price, according to Pantera chief executive Dan Morehead.

Bitcoin Shop Inc, which trades on the over-the-counter market OTCQB, said in a release on Tuesday that its bid had also been rejected. The virtual currency ecommerce company bid directly in the auction as well as through a syndicate organized by SecondMarket.

“Bitcoin Shop will continue to evaluate investment opportunities such as this in the future,” the statement said.

Silk Road was shut after an FBI raid in September 2013 as agents took control of its server and arrested Ross Ulbricht, a Texan who authorities said owned and operated the website.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond and Gertrude Chavez Dreyfuss; Writing by David Gaffen; Editing by James Dalgleish and Gunna Dickson)

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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