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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road 232

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-your-windfall dept.
ClownP writes with news that the U.S. Marshals Service is selling off 29,656.51306529 Bitcoins that were seized when the Silk Road website was shut down. At current exchange rates, they're worth around $17-18 million. The coins will be auctioned off in nine blocks of 3,000 coins, plus one block with the remainder. The USMS said that the first deadline for bidders will be 9am Eastern Time on June 16, 2014. All bidders must complete the government's Bidder Registration Form, which requires that you provide a copy of a government-issued ID as well as a $200,000 deposit sent by wire transfer from an American bank. The government added that the highest bidder will win, and he or she cannot finance its payment in installments — the winner must pay the full amount in cash. The USMS added one final stipulation. "The USMS will not sell to any person who is acting on behalf of or in concert with the Silk Road and/or Ross William Ulbricht, and bidders will be required to so certify," the USMS stated.
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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

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  • by alen (225700) on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:11AM (#47229109)

    IRS said bitcoin is property

  • Re:Initial Offer (Score:4, Informative)

    by BitZtream (692029) on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:23AM (#47229191)

    Can't read eh? The summary quotes the article so you just had to read the summary ...

    But I'll help you out ...

    the winner must pay the full amount in cash.

  • Re:Auction? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Talderas (1212466) on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:50AM (#47229407)

    You're thinking of English auctions. There's also Dutch auctions where the price is lowered from the seller's reserve price and then sealed auctions in which everyone submits a single bid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:04AM (#47229509)

    Well, the owner of Silk Road would first have to actually claim the coins. Right now, no one is taking ownership of said coins so they are considered abandoned. The government is not a storage locker. You get a set amount of time to claim your property or its abandoned. It's the same as if your car was towed and you didn't come get it. Or if someone steals some of your stuff and is later caught by police. The police will hold the items until someone claims them or they are considered legally abandoned then auction them off.

    As far as this move showing the feds find Ulbricht guilty without trial, he says he didn't run Silk Road so why would auctioning off SR assets matter to him? Ulbricht objecting to the sale would be as legitimate as me objecting to the sale. I don't have any rights to the coins, and he disavows any rights to them.

  • Re:Due Process (Score:4, Informative)

    by tysonedwards (969693) on Friday June 13, 2014 @12:57PM (#47230847)
    You mean like paying an undercover cop $80,000 equivalency from the same Bitcoin wallet that was seized to arrange to kill someone?

    I completely agree with you that it is improper to conduct the auction before the trial because it sets a dangerous precedent that all it takes is a cop to lie for prosecutors to liquidate the assets of anyone they don't like.

    The question is whether someone who claims to be innocent should have access to someone else's assets to mount their defense.

    Should Ulbricht maintain that he is not DPR, his 5th Amendment rights are not being violated because he asserts that the property "wasn't his". Regardless, his 6th Amendment rights are not being violated because he has not been denied the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

    The only noteworthy thing here is that should he admit perjury that he is in fact DPR, or another party come forward and either party later be found innocent of any wrongdoing, the government would be required to provide whatever funds they generate through the auction back to the innocent party; something that incentivizes them to sell at below market value.

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