What Would You Buy With 30,000 Bitcoins?

The federal government is auctioning off 30,000 bitcoins. What would you do with them?

AccessTimeIconJun 28, 2014 at 11:05 a.m. UTC
Updated Feb 21, 2023 at 3:46 p.m. UTC
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So, the US Marshals are auctioning off 30,000 BTC.

In 2009, that wouldn't have been worth very much, but at the time of writing, CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index puts that at a cool $17,610,000.

It's a tiny fraction of the overall number of bitcoins in circulation, but here at CoinDesk, we certainly wouldn't turn it down. What could you spend it on? Here are a few ideas.

A little over one-sixth of David Siegel’s house

David Siegel is the billionaire owner of Westgate Resorts Ltd, the largest privately-held timeshare company in the world. His 15-bedroom, 30-bathroom home was featured on the documentary 'The Queen of Versailles'.

Siegel lost most of his fortune during the financial crisis, and construction on the home stalled as he had to sell off most of his assets.

 Westgate Resorts via Wikipedia
Westgate Resorts via Wikipedia

Now he’s back, and building out the rest of the house, although we don't think he won his fortune back investing in bitcoins, sadly. It’s valued at $100m on completion – perhaps you could buy five of the 30 bedrooms. Or just rent it for a bit?


As it turns out, the market capitalization for namecoin at the time of writing is just a little under $15.8m. So actually, you could pick up all of feathercoin as well, and still have a couple of thousand dollars in bitcoins over in change.

namecoin logo
namecoin logo

Embarrassingly, though, you couldn’t afford the whole of dogecoin, and that only launched in December. Too shame. Much poor. Which is what David Siegel must have been thinking in 2009.

17 Hublot Classic Fusion Haute Joaillerie watches

This Hublot model is one of the most expensive watches in the world. It is dusted with 1,305 baguette diamonds. With 30,000 BTC, you could buy one for each wrist, and still have $15.6m left.


Or, given that only eight of these were ever made, you could collect the set and still scrape together enough dough to use the bathroom at Siegel’s house.

68 trips to space

$250,000 will get you a trip into space with Virgin Galactic, which you can pay for in bitcoins at the going market rate. It’s quite an experience.

Virgin Galactic now accepts bitcoins
Virgin Galactic now accepts bitcoins

You are instantly pinned back into your seat, overwhelmed, until everything goes dark, when you begin to experience a weightless sensation and feel a little sick.

And that, my friends, is what it may feel like to sit next to a Winkelvoss for two and a half hours. With 30,000 bitcoins, you get to do it another 67 times. Just don't mention Facebook, or you may have to pay extra for the earplugs.

320 high-roller weekends in Vegas

Cryptocurrency fans tend to be a speculative lot, so how about a weekend away, gambling in fun Las Vegas? Take four friends from New York and head down there on the Friday, coming back on Monday. Let's do it in style, shall we?


It turns out that it isn’t that expensive to rent a private jet. You can pick up a medium jet which will whisk you from New York to Las Vegas for a four-day trip, and it will only cost you $42,500.

Rent your own plane
Rent your own plane

Bitcoin high rollers can’t be expected to stay at fleapits, so we are putting you up in the Encore Salon Suites at the Wynn Hotel. We’d rent two of them, each for two people to stay in, so that you’re not cramped. That costs $8,300, bringing your grand total to around $50,800.

Oh, you want to gamble, as well? Let's round it up to $55,000, then, because we hear the drinks are free, and they do those cheap seafood buffets. You still get to go 320 times, assuming that you lose your entire kitty every time you fly.

543 dinners with Barack Obama

How about sitting down for a friendly bite with President Barack Obama? He recently held a fundraiser at the home of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, where people paid $32,400 a plate to dine with him. Apparently, you get a photo with him, as well.


Technically speaking, you'd be able to do this 543 times, at which point you might have run out of things to talk about. To be honest, it might take a few of those dinners to politely inform him how the government should be dealing with it. Try not to get too worked up and point your fork.

Luckily for you, that $32,400 figure is significant, because it's the most that an individual can donate to the Democratic party in 2014, which means that one plate of steak diane is all you can buy, even if it’s far less than you can afford.

So, you'd either have to sponsor 542 friends to do the same thing, or just switch allegiance to the Republicans instead, and donate a bit more to other causes. It seems to work okay for the Koch brothers.

890 trips in a MIG

The MIG-29 was introduced in 1983, just over a quarter century before Satoshi figured out how to create bitcoin. It's still in service, and in between patrolling the Ukrainian border, it also does day trips.

 MIG picture via Krasimir Grozev
MIG picture via Krasimir Grozev

You can fly one for 45 minutes for just under $20,000. That also gets you two nights in a five-star Moscow hotel, and another two nights in a four-star, nearer to the launch site 400km away.

You'll get the chance to do some aerobatics, including rolls, loops, and tail slides. Bonus points if you can create a vapour trail mimicking the price of bitcoin over the past year.

You can't fit many people in a MIG-29, meaning that the flight will be Winkelvoss-free. Although by the time you've completed almost 900 flights, you might still feel a little queasy.

One million Empire Manhattans at Evr

30,000 BTC will buy you just over one million Manhattan Empires at Evr, the New York bar founded by Charlie Shrem last year.


The Empire Manhattan is a saucy little mix of rye or bourbon, Vermouth, Angustora Bitters, and brandied cherry with orange peel. You might have to drink them over a few sittings, though.

Shrem may even be able to join you there. The bitcoin entrepreneur, facing federal money-laundering charges, was told in May that he could leave the house between 9 AM and 9 PM, Sunday through Thursday.

Nearly 2 million pizzas

Back in 2010, a pizza cost 10,000 BTC, apparently. That's how much Florida programmer Laszlo Hanyecz paid for "a couple of pizzas, like maybe two large ones so I have some left over for the next day".


These days, you can pick up two medium two topping pizzas from Domino’s for 0.03050 bitcoins, and you don’t have to pay someone halfway around the world to help you out.

It means that you could happily chow down on 983,606 pizzas. Oh, hang on, though – you get two in your order, so that’s 1,967,213 pies. Although you should probably pick some of the sausage off, because that's a lot of fat, you know?

Or you could go upmarket a bit, and buy some Pizza Royales. Forget your all-dressed nonsense here. Domenico Crolla created what is said to be the most expensive Pizza in the world. It's a 12-inch pie, with caviar soaked in Don Perignon, Scottish smoked salmon, lobster marinated in Cognac, venison medallions, and a vintage balsamic vinegar. He used "a significant amount" of edible 24 carat gold flakes as topping. Which would be appropriate, we guess, if you ever make it to David Siegel’s bathroom.

It sold for $4200 at auction, meaning that you could buy 4,192 of them. Actually, 4,192.8, which means that you could give away a few slices if you were really stuffed.

Any other ideas for what you’d spend 30,000 BTC on? Let us know in the comments.

image via Shutterstock


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