The U.S. government is selling bitcoins worth $18 million through an auction later this month.
The DOJ seized the 29,000 virtual bitcoins from the Silk Road website last year.
Silkroad allegedly provided a sales platform for illegal drugs and other contraband.
The U.S. Marshals manage the sale of assets seized by the DOJ through criminal and civil forfeiture actions.
An announcement for the June 27 auction appeared on the Marshals’s website Thursday.
Bitcoins aren’t real currency but virtual values. So the auction will sell sets of numbers that appear in an online public ledger.
Ross Ulbricht, 30, the alleged Silk Road mastermind, was arrested in October last year.
Federal agents seized another 144,000 bitcoins he allegedly owned. Those aren’t included in this month’s auction.
Ulbricht has pleaded not guilty to charges of drug trafficking, money laundering, and computer hacking.
He’s in custody in New York.
Bidders for the bitcoins need to register by June 16 and post a $200,000 deposit with the Marshals.
Here’s part of the notice about the auction. Click on the image to visit the full site.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.