The United States Marshals Service recently conducted another auction of bitcoins collected from the black market website Silk Road. The bitcoin auction contained an estimated 50,000 bitcoins and was the second in a chain of auctions to sell off the confiscated bitcoins of incarcerated Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht.
About the Silk Road Bitcoin Auction
The USMS started auctioning off the confiscated bitcoins in June, attracting 45 bidders from around the world. This time, there were only 11 bidders with 27 bids. The drop in bidders is attributed to a decreased interest from buyers, as there are more efficient ways to buy larger blocks of the cryptocurrency elsewhere on the internet.
The Marshals Service still has about 94,000 BTC in its possession, and will likely auction the remaining bitcoins in the coming months.
With the advent of bitcoin cam more private and discreet ways to make online purchases. Coupled with the emergence of black market websites, bitcoin garnered a reputation as a currency solely used for buying drugs and other illegal goods. Perhaps the currency’s largest benefactor in those times was Silk Road.
The black market site Silk Road was run by Ross Ulbricht, an American man who had discovered bitcoin’s untapped potential to be used as a global currency. However, Mr. Ulbricht was convicted on charges of allegedly trafficking illegal goods and conspiring to commit murder. Silk Road was shut down, and Ulbricht’s private collection of bitcoins—totaling nearly $2 billion dollars at the time—was confiscated by the US government.
The Auctions and the Value of Bitcoin
During the last Silk Road bitcoin auction, the digital currency’s value rose slightly by 7 percent as interested consumers and investors anticipated results. However, the second auction brought uninspiring results, with bitcoin value staying around $380.
Bitcoin value is hard to predict and can frustrate investors. Over the past year, values have soared past $1,000 and have dived to as low as just $200. The volatility of the market can sometimes discourage consumers from investing. However, even a few hundred dollars is lightyears from bitcoin’s original value, which was just a mere fraction of a penny.
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