Scheduled to take place on March 5, 2015, the United States government will be placing another 50,000 Bitcoin on the auction block in segments of 2,000 and 3,000 Bitcoin. Currently valued around $235 a Bitcoin, the market value of the entire block of Bitcoin comes in around $11.8 million. While the value of Bitcoin will likely change before the start of the auction, the price of Bitcoin has been fairly stable for the last 30 days after falling to a low of $177 during mid-January.
This block of 50,000 Bitcoin was seized from Ross Ulbricht, the alleged creator of the Silk Road online black market. Recently convicted on a number of charges related to narcotics, Ulbricht had claimed that he wasn’t responsible for the illegal activity that occurred on the site. A federal jury disagreed and Ulbricht is now facing a possible life sentence for his role in Silk Road’s operation. His official sentencing will occur on May 15, 2015.
To register for the Bitcoin auction being run by the U.S. Marshals service, you will need a hefty cash deposit to prove eligibility. The 2,000 Bitcoin block requires a deposit of $100,000 and the 3,000 Bitcoin block requires a deposit of $150,000. A total of 20 blocks will be auctioned off on March 5 and the winning bidders will be notified by the end of the following day.
This is actually the third auction for Bitcoin related to the Silk Road seizure. During June 2014, the U.S. Marshals service auctioned off roughly 30,000 Bitcoin and an additional 50,000 were auctioned off during December 2014.
Interestingly, if the U.S. Marshals service had auctioned off the entire allotment of Bitcoin shortly after the initial seizure during October 2013, the value of the entire block would have been worth approximately $125 million. Assuming the U.S. Marshals service have obtained current market value for previous auctions and will do the same for next month’s auction, the approximate revenue generated from the sales will total around $45 million.