The US Marshals Service (USMS) has announced that it will auction off 50,000 bitcoins, worth roughly $20m, that belong to accused Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht.
The auction is the second held by the US agency, following the sale of 30,000 BTC in July. Involving well-known participants from across the bitcoin and traditional finance industries, the auction was won by venture capitalist Tim Draper, who successfully bid on all the rounds organized by the USMS.
According to the announcement, the USMS began accepting bids at 9:00 EST on 17th November, and the deadline for bids ends on Monday, 1st December. The auction will take place over two rounds, with 10 blocks of 2,000 BTC in the first round and 10 blocks of 3,000 BTC in the second.
The process is similar to the prior Silk Road-related bitcoin auction, requiring pre-registration with the USMS and initial deposits for the two rounds of $100,000 and $150,000.
According to the USMS, the 50,000 BTC being auctioned were confiscated from computers owned by Ulbricht in connection with the US government's long-running case, which alleges that Ulbricht is the Silk Road mastermind Dread Pirate Roberts.
"This sealed bid auction is for a portion of the bitcoins contained in wallet files that resided on certain computer hardware belonging to Ross William Ulbricht, that were seized on or about October 24, 2013."
The winner of the auction will be notified if their bid has been selected on 5th December, with payment required on 8th December, according to the announcement.
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