Bitcoin exchange itBit announced that it has won 10,000 of the bitcoins auctioned off by the US Marshals Service (USMS).
Friday’s auction was the last of several for the bitcoins seized by the US government from online drug bazaar Silk Road and its convicted operator, Ross Ulbricht. A total of 144,341 bitcoins were seized from Ulbricht’s wallet in 2013, and 29,656 from Silk Road’s servers.
The first auction, held last year for the 29,656 coins found on Silk Road, was a highly anticipated event. Though auction participants likely have little or nothing to gain- they can simply buy the bitcoins on the open market- such events may be beneficial for their brand. Venture capitalist Tim Draper won all the coins from that auction.
The auctions held since then have seen decreasing interest, and the latest had the lowest turnout.
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itBit was also a winner of 3,000 BTC in the previous auction in March this year.
Friday’s auction had the coins divided into 21 blocks of 2,000 coins, plus one block of 2,341.
itBit’s bid was organized on behalf of its over-the-counter trading clients. Other participants included Digital Currency Group (DCG) subsidiary Genesis Trading and bitcoin hedge fund Binary Financial.
Bitcoin prices had calmed somewhat by the time of Friday’s auction, allowing participants to perhaps conduct bids better aligned with market prices. Earlier in the week, bitcoin went through one of its most volatile periods in recent memory.