The US government on Wednesday said it plans to auction 50,000 bitcoins on March 5, following the recent criminal conviction of Ross Ulbricht for being the mastermind behind the online black market known as Silk Road.
The auction being conducted by the US Marshals Service is the third for bitcoins seized in connection with Silk Road, which prosecutors said let customers buy and sell drugs and other illegal goods under the radar of law enforcement. 4 found Ulbricht guilty of narcotics and other charges for helping to enable about 0 million of anonymous online drug sales using bitcoins.
The marshals service said the 50,000 bitcoins are being offered in 10 blocks of 2,000 and 10 blocks of 3,000.
Bidders must register for the six-hour auction by March 2, and winners will be notified on March 6.
Bitcoins are an online virtual currency that has lost roughly 80 percent of its value since its peak closing of $1,147.25 on Dec.
4, 2013, according to the digital currency news website Coin Desk.
premiered at SXSW and played at several other film festivals this spring, but in its wake, Ulbricht's story continues to unfold.
Writer-director-producer Alex Winter says that over the next year, people will find out even more about Ulbricht, but Winter says he's fine with his documentary telling the start of an ongoing story.
"The thing is it's a narrative, and it's a narrative about unknowables, to my benefit.
That's thematically what I was driving at, that we don't know concretely exactly what happened," Winter explains. There have been convictions…It's not like we don't know anything, but there's a lot we don't know and its hard for us to wrap our heads around.
The volatility results in part from bitcoin’s lack of central oversight and small trading volume.
In afternoon trading, the value of one bitcoin had fallen .83, or 4 percent, to 4.87.
The marshals service auctioned 29,655 bitcoins from Silk Road last June and 50,000 more in December, when they were respectively worth about 1 and 9 each.