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Uncle Sam set to flog Silk Road's Bitcoins

Previous owners won't be needing them any more

The US Marshals have set the date for an auction of Bitcoins seized in the takedown of the Silk Road market and its aftermath.

The Marshal Service says it will be auctioning off a block of 2,719.32669068 units of the cryptocurrency on August 22. The estimated worth of the Bitcoins is $1.6m.

Among the coins to be auctioned are those taken from Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht and Carl Mark Force, the DEA agent who pilfered some of Ulbricht's Bitcoins for himself while investigating the case.

Ulbricht was ultimately given life in prison for multiple counts of drug trafficking, fraud, money laundering, and running a criminal operation, while Force is serving 6.5 years behind bars for extortion, money laundering, and obstruction of justice.

The Bitcoins to be sold off in the auction have actually been taken from 12 different cases where the government seized the cryptocurrency as evidence in criminal, civil, and administrative cases. In addition to the Department of Justice (DoJ), the cases were pursued by the Internal Revenue Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and US Customs.

In order to participate in the August 22 auction, prospective bidders will have to complete their registration by noon Eastern time on August 18. Along with the necessary paperwork, bidders will need to put in a $100,000 deposit, which will be returned to all but the winning bidder (whose deposit will be credited toward the purchase price).

Those outside of the US are welcome to participate in the auction so long as they are not on the Treasury Department's "Specially Designated Nationals" list.

The auction itself will be a blind process, meaning those who make an offer for the Bitcoins will not be able to see the winning bid. The auction will take place between 8 AM and 2 PM Eastern time on August 22, after which time the bid will be closed, the winner notified, and deposits to all other bidders returned. ®

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