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US to auction off Pirate's Bitcoin booty

Marshals Service to auction off $18m of Bitcoins seized from the Silk Road

US to auction off Pirate's Bitcoin booty
Some 29,000 Bitcoins, with an estimated value of $18m, will be auctioned.

The US Marshals Service has announced plans to auction off $18m worth of Bitcoins seized from the online marketplace the Silk Road.

The Silk Road marketplace, which mainly focused on trading in illegal commodities and services, was shut down by the FBI in October last year. Transactions on the site were conducted in Bitcoins and other crypto-currencies to preserve the anonymity of users.

The 29,000 Bitcoins which will be auctioned were residing on Silk Road servers, the Marshals Service said, although they were not the direct property of Ross Ulbricht, AKA Dread Pirate Roberts, the alleged mastermind of the Silk Road.

Ulbricht was arrested and charged with money laundering, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic narcotics and plotting to kill a Silk Road user who was allegedly blackmailing Ulbricht.

The cash-only auction will take place on 27th June, and bidders will be required to lodge a $200,000 deposit to take part in the auction. The Marshals Service also warned that buyers would have to prove that they are not acting on behalf of Ulricht or the Silk Road.

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