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

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