Business

Someone just bought $19M in bitcoins seized by the U.S. government (updated)

Bitcoin
Image Credit: BTC Keychain/Flickr
Want to master the CMO role? Join us for GrowthBeat Summit on June 1-2 in Boston, where we'll discuss how to merge creativity with technology to drive growth. Space is limited and we're limiting attendance to CMOs and top marketing execs. Request your personal invitation here!

Update 9:25 a.m. ET: Venture capitalist Tim Draper is responsible for the purchase, according to Reuters.

A single mystery bidder just bought 29,656.5 bitcoins seized by the U.S. government from the Silk Road online black market, Wired reports.

When the U.S. Marshall invited bids for the 29,656.5 bitcoin-haul last month, the alternative currency took a hit on the news — falling from $634.38 to $568.87. The market has hardly budged (so far) on news of the sale today, according to bitcoin price metrics provided by Coinbase and Coindesk. The auction was scheduled to take place June 27.

Although the exact amount paid by the bidder is unclear, Wired and others estimate it at $19 million, which aligns with the current bitcoin-to-USD exchange rate.

As we reported last month, these coins do not specifically belong to Pirate Dread Roberts aka. Ross William Ulbricht, who the FBI arrested in October for owning and operating Silk Road. These are coins that existed on the Silk Road’s servers.


VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying email marketing tools. Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.