Third US Marshals Bitcoin Auction Sees Increase in Bidder Interest

The US Marshals Service (USMS) has announced that 14 bidders participated in today's auction of 50,000 BTC.

AccessTimeIconMar 5, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 2:02 p.m. UTC

The US Marshals Service (USMS) has announced that 14 bidders participated in today's auction of 50,000 BTC, worth $13.4m at press time, placing 34 bids over the course of the six-hour event.

The figure was up slightly from the 11 bidders and 27 bids entered in December's auction, but down from the 45 bidders and 63 bids during the first auction in June.

A spokesperson for the USMS indicated that the auction is currently being evaluated and that bids are being reviewed.

The spokesperson said:

"No further information will be released until the conclusion of the auction process, when financial transactions have been completed and bitcoins have been transferred to the winner(s)."

The earliest the winner could be revealed would be Monday, the agency added.

The spike in interest notably coincides with increased activity in the bitcoin markets. After a period of relative stability, the price of bitcoin was trending up this week, hitting a high of $284.14 on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

At press time, this figure had fallen to $266.79.

The trading desk at SecondMarket, the firm that entered the winning bid in December's auction, was among the confirmed participants.

More auctions in store

This is the third auction of bitcoin seized in the shutdown of illicit black market Silk Road, and the second involving bitcoins confiscated from site operator Ross Ulbricht.

In total, roughly 144,000 BTC were taken from Ulbricht at the time of his arrest. The 30-year-old was subsequently convicted of operating the website in February.

A remaining 44,000 BTC, worth roughly $11.8m at press time, is set to be auctioned off in a final auction at a time to be determined later.

Gavel image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.