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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the enjoy-your-windfall dept.

Bitcoin 232

ClownP writes with news that the U.S. Marshals Service is selling off 29,656.51306529 Bitcoins that were seized when the Silk Road website was shut down. At current exchange rates, they're worth around $17-18 million. The coins will be auctioned off in nine blocks of 3,000 coins, plus one block with the remainder. The USMS said that the first deadline for bidders will be 9am Eastern Time on June 16, 2014. All bidders must complete the government's Bidder Registration Form, which requires that you provide a copy of a government-issued ID as well as a $200,000 deposit sent by wire transfer from an American bank. The government added that the highest bidder will win, and he or she cannot finance its payment in installments — the winner must pay the full amount in cash. The USMS added one final stipulation. "The USMS will not sell to any person who is acting on behalf of or in concert with the Silk Road and/or Ross William Ulbricht, and bidders will be required to so certify," the USMS stated.

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Initial Offer (5, Funny)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 2 months ago | (#47228991)

On the first bitcoin, I bid one bitcoin.

Re:Initial Offer (3, Funny)

hodet (620484) | about 2 months ago | (#47229029)

I'm out

Re:Initial Offer (4, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47229411)

You likely are if you can't access $200,000 for the right to bid.

That sounds fair and Democratic first rattle out of the box.

Re:Initial Offer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229647)

You're a few decades too late on that one, the requirement to put up surety money to show you're not wasting the auctioneer's time is a long-established practice that arose because of more than a few spoilers who had no real intention of fulfilling their obligations and were effectively....damn, the word for it is on the tip of my tongue. You know, when you don't have the assets for anybody to make a claim on you regardless.

Re:Initial Offer (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 2 months ago | (#47229701)

Perhaps you're looking for "judgment-proof".

The problem arises not just from wasting the auctioneer's time, although that is certainly a problem. Allowing people not serious about paying also wastes the seller's time, the other bidders' time, the time of the banks and accountant of the other bidders if the price is high enough, and potentially the time of the courts. Another big problem is that it tends to waste the money of the winning bidder in favor of the seller as the only real reason to bid without the means to buy is to shill and run up the price.

Re:Initial Offer (1)

sribe (304414) | about 2 months ago | (#47229033)

That doesn't seem like a very profitable plan.

Re:Initial Offer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229069)

Welcome to the world of Bitcoin.

Re:Initial Offer (3, Insightful)

prefec2 (875483) | about 2 months ago | (#47229037)

You should give two bit coins. This would drive the auctionators crazy.

Re:Initial Offer (3, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 months ago | (#47229057)

Not possible. You'll have to buy one block of 3000 bitcoins. ... Let's start out with 3000 bitcoins. There's 3000 bitcoin. Do I hear 3001 bitcoin? 3001 bitcoin? 3001 bitcoin? Do I hear 3001 bitcoin? Sold for 3000 bitcoin to the man in the funny hat.

Re:Initial Offer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229483)

shut up you fucktard

Re:Initial Offer (3, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 months ago | (#47229191)

Can't read eh? The summary quotes the article so you just had to read the summary ...

But I'll help you out ...

the winner must pay the full amount in cash.

Re:Initial Offer (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 months ago | (#47229399)

Which finally explains how to get cash for your bitcoin. Step #1: be a government. :-)

Re:Initial Offer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47230145)

I regularly sell bitcoin for USD on coinbase. There's many places to do it.

Re:Initial Offer (4, Funny)

hodet (620484) | about 2 months ago | (#47230229)

maybe he can use his bitcoin to buy you a sense of humor.

Re:Initial Offer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47230347)

Can't read eh? The summary quotes the article so you just had to read the summary ...

But I'll help you out ...

I assume you have Aspbergers or similar, so here's a tip: If it says (Score:5, Funny) you should just assume that the author (and most other people) realizes that the content isn't actually accurate.

Re:Initial Offer (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 months ago | (#47229599)

I bid fifty quatloos on the newcomer.

Do they accept (2, Funny)

ComfortablyAmbiguous (1740854) | about 2 months ago | (#47229025)

Do they accept payment in Bitcoins?

Re:Do they accept (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229101)

I wonder if they registered with fincen. Otherwise, they are setting the precedent of of auctioning bitcoins as a loophole...

Re:Do they accept (2, Insightful)

ncc74656 (45571) | about 2 months ago | (#47229755)

I wonder if they registered with fincen. Otherwise, they are setting the precedent of of auctioning bitcoins as a loophole...

<sarcasm>
When the government does something, it's not illegal.
</sarcasm>

Re:Do they accept (0)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 months ago | (#47229201)

You fail at reading comprehension.

From the summary that you apparently partially read

the winner must pay the full amount in cash.

Re:Do they accept (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229349)

You are literally too stupid to live.

Re:Do they accept (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47230103)

The only people who are literally too stupid to live are the people who can't remember how to breathe.

Re:Do they accept (1)

Linzer (753270) | about 2 months ago | (#47230267)

The only people who are literally too stupid to live are the people who can't remember how to breathe.

And even then, we put those on breathing machines.

At this point what we are stuck with is a bunch of people who are too stupid to die.

Re:Do they accept (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229375)

whoosh

Re:Do they accept (2)

Bazman (4849) | about 2 months ago | (#47229635)

Expected riposte from bitcoinfanbois insisting that bitcoin is a form of cash in 3...2..1..

Laundering (5, Interesting)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 months ago | (#47229087)

They're laundering the coins. The high bidders will end up being shell companies for TLAs.

Re:Laundering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229155)

This is exactly what they are doing.

Re:Laundering (5, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 2 months ago | (#47229223)

Even worse than laundering: the US government is ensuring that only the rich have access to these bitcoins sold at a reduced price.

The coins should be sold on the open market and the proceeds put in the same coffers as tax money to reduce that burden. Instead of doing that, they are ensuring that the wealthy can acquire more items of value that can then be directly liquefied.

Re:Laundering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229287)

Only the rich? If they sell at reduced prices, anyone can get a loan in order to immediately re-sell at full price. A no-risk business - if they really sell at reduced prices.

Re:Laundering (2)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 2 months ago | (#47229579)

Anyone? Really? You're gonna run down to Speedy Cash and get a loan for $200,000 just for the ability to place a bid? And, when you win at $500 per, they're going to give you another $1,300,000 to pay the balance? Let us know how that goes for you.

Re:Laundering (1)

deKernel (65640) | about 2 months ago | (#47230013)

If that is how you would have to operate...guess what...you can't afford to buy them show you should not be participating in the auction. See how easy that is.

Re:Laundering (2)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 2 months ago | (#47230207)

From the gggp: "Even worse than laundering: the US government is ensuring that only the rich have access to these bitcoins sold at a reduced price."

Apparently you agree.

Re:Laundering (2, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 2 months ago | (#47229395)

Which "open market" should the government use? What system should they use to manage the sail of those coins? How should they ensure that the market they use is legit and secure? What process should they use to ensure that the Silk Road guys aren't just re-buying their stuff? Who will handle oversight to make sure this all goes off accordingly?

Pretty much answering any one of those questions would be a process that costs far more than the estimated value of the bitcoin they have.

Far better for them to use their existing process of auctioning off random shit they seize.

Also, the government couldn't care less if you can't afford to buy the stuff they auction off.

Re:Laundering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229575)

What process should they use to ensure that the Silk Road guys aren't just re-buying their stuff?

Why shouldn't they have the same opportunity to throw money at the government and speculate on cryptocurrency as every other person? They might be prosecuted, but how is this auction linked to that?

Re:Laundering (2)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 2 months ago | (#47229771)

I'm going by the stated intent to prevent that which is in the summary. I don't know if there are laws about those associated with a civil forfeiture being eligible to bid on items from that forfeiture, but it seems like that's the intent, and it seems like since it's stated there it would be something worth investigating if trying to set up an entirely new process for handling this kind of disposition of assets.

My point here being not so much "what is right" but more "there are a lot of questions to be asked and answered about changing the way this kind of thing is done, and they are all very expensive to resolve, probably more expensive than the potential improvement of efficiency will ever be worth."

Re:Laundering (2)

AnOnyxMouseCoward (3693517) | about 2 months ago | (#47229805)

So excuse my ignorance, but can 17 million$ worth of BTC be liquidated easily? What's the volume of BTC transactions, and wouldn't selling those crash the prices?

Re:Laundering (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 months ago | (#47230047)

The coins should be sold on the open market

Other than the restriction about not acting in concert with Silk Road et al., there's precisely nothing closed about this market. "Open market" does not mean "cheap".

Re:Laundering (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 months ago | (#47229519)

Why would a TLA want bitcoins? How would it help for a TLA to use a government-granted budget to buy bitcoins? Theres still a paper trail.

Re:Laundering (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229949)

Why would a TLA want bitcoins?

To make purchases from certain organizations that don't accept credit cards.

How would it help for a TLA to use a government-granted budget to buy bitcoins?

Because the federal government cannot print bitcoins.

Theres still a paper trail.

Yes, but "Arty's Assassination Association" won't see that trail as connecting to a TLA and some undercover buyers can find out whether Arty is guilty of murder-for-hire or only guilty of false advertising.

I hope they get whatever they can for them (0)

EzInKy (115248) | about 2 months ago | (#47229093)

It really isn't a governments job to sell of fake currency though. They should be only dealing in whatever is accepted as the coin of the realm as it would be, and imprisoning all those who try to subvert it.

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (4, Informative)

alen (225700) | about 2 months ago | (#47229109)

IRS said bitcoin is property

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229129)

and the auction by the government only legitimizes it further as a real asset worth real money.

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 months ago | (#47229149)

The government has never been against that, so it doesn't need 'legitimising' in that manner.

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (1)

Salgat (1098063) | about 2 months ago | (#47229183)

What's your point?

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (4, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 2 months ago | (#47229187)

No, it doesn't, actually, or at least not any more than it somehow makes cars, homes, or other items seized and auctioned off suddenly become money.

What would legitimize it would be if they kept them and used them as money to buy things. They aren't. They're getting rid of them and explicitly NOT treating them like money.

It's literally no different than if they'd seized any other thing that some people think is worth buying.

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229461)

Actually, in the eyes of the court, it does. If a future government were to declare the use of bitcoins (or alternatives) as currency 'illegal' - as in the exchange of bitcoins for tangible goods, or in this case, US currency - this constitutes precedent. Your claim that they are "NOT treating them like money" is nonsense. You are making shit up. As ridiculous as bitcoins may be, they are being treated as a commodity.

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (4, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 2 months ago | (#47229681)

You're very confused.

Being able to pay for something with legal tender (US dollars) does not somehow make the things you buy with legal tender into legal tender itself. Nor does it somehow turn it into a currency. It sets no precedent.

Selling bitcoin - or ANYTHING ELSE - at an auction in exchange for US dollars does not set ANY kind of precedent establishing that bitcoin - or ANYTHING ELSE - is now legal tender. In fact, it establishes the opposite.

What WOULD set a precedent is if the government called up some suppliers and gave them bitcoin directly in exchange for things that aren't legal tender, because then they would be saying that bitcoin is the same as US dollars.

What they are doing here is saying "we have these bitcoins (and other things) and we would rather have US dollars, which are legal tender. We will give you these bitcoins for dollars, which we will then go and use like real money."

This isn't difficult.

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (-1, Troll)

3.5 stripes (578410) | about 2 months ago | (#47229685)

You're dumber than a box of hair. Good thing you posted as an AC, so such stupidity won't be associated with any real person.

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47229921)

and the auction by the government only legitimizes it further as a real asset worth being taxed.

FTFY. And now you know their motivation.

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about 2 months ago | (#47230373)

and the auction by the government only legitimizes it further as a real asset worth real money.

Only if they actually get some bids. I'd love to see a scenario where only one bidder shows up and (despite the $200k honest money requirement) bids 50cents.

Oblig: why doesn't the USgovt put it on eBay with a BIN of $Xmillion?

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 months ago | (#47229533)

So is a collection of national geographic magazines.

That doesnt make it currency.

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 months ago | (#47229143)

Governments deal with foreign currency all the time, but as the other poster says, the IRS have already stated they consider BitCoin to be property rather than currency - and the government auctions property even more frequently than they auction foreign currency.

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (2)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 2 months ago | (#47229147)

This isn't any different from them auctioning off any asset seized by law enforcement though.

They're basically treating bitcoins like anything else. It's the same as them auctioning off Beanie Babies or baseball cards. They want to convert things they take into US currency and auctions are how they get what the market will bear from it while doing so quickly.

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (4, Insightful)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 2 months ago | (#47229211)

Let me blow your mind right now: all currency is fake. That's what makes it currency instead of bartered goods.

Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229241)

Do you bitcoin people think this is something new?

They are trying to get some money back from property they confiscated. It could be a truck load of grass seed, a house, stocks, bonds, a bunch of plastic bottles filled with tap water or even a bunch of widgets. It does not matter what it is. The government only wants the value of "it" in US currency. When it comes to getting rid of seized property, they are not a reseller, a property owner, a speculator, a bitcoin trader, a car dealer, an ebay store front or a thrift store. They just auction it in bulk in as few transactions as possible to those that may be.

By using such large blocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229139)

It guarantees the uber rich and organized crime will be the only people able to afford them. why not drip them onto a reputable exchange? let everyone buy any amount of them at market rates?

Re:By using such large blocks (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229163)

It's an auction of property they seized. If the property value is expected to sell for more money than you have, you will not be the highest bidder. This is the way auctions (government and non government) have been for just about ever. This has nothing to do with the rich or poor. There is no incentive to split them into 29,000 individual items either. That would be a waste of time and money.

Re:By using such large blocks (2)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 months ago | (#47229203)

Using an "exchange" would legitimize it as currency. Auctioning it treats it as property. Imagine the government was auctioning dollar bills seized in a drug raid, or tried trading seized sports cars for dollars on a currency exchange.

Re:By using such large blocks (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 2 months ago | (#47229329)

I can actually imagine the government being incompetent enough to try auctioning off dollar bills from a drug raid. It makes me laugh, but not quite as much as the thought of idiots bidding ten dollars for that dollar bill.

Re:By using such large blocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229401)

Do you get a certificate that it is one of real Authentic Dread Pirate Roberts' Dollar Bills? If yes, this kind of idiots is called "collectors".

Though at 17 million run it's not that collectible...

Re:By using such large blocks (4, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 2 months ago | (#47229235)

Because that's not how the government works in this regard?

They take shit, they auction it off to the highest bidder. The government is not in the business of managing an inventory, they want to convert whatever they take into cash as fast and efficiently as possible.

They think 3000 coin lots is the most efficient way for them to sell them, and couldn't give a shit as to who buys them as long as they pass the vetting process.

has there been a trial? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229213)

Selling off his stuff implies he or Silk Road were found guilty.

Re:has there been a trial? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229279)

Perhaps you haven't been paying any attention to the American judicial system ...

Re:has there been a trial? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229509)

Well, the owner of Silk Road would first have to actually claim the coins. Right now, no one is taking ownership of said coins so they are considered abandoned. The government is not a storage locker. You get a set amount of time to claim your property or its abandoned. It's the same as if your car was towed and you didn't come get it. Or if someone steals some of your stuff and is later caught by police. The police will hold the items until someone claims them or they are considered legally abandoned then auction them off.

As far as this move showing the feds find Ulbricht guilty without trial, he says he didn't run Silk Road so why would auctioning off SR assets matter to him? Ulbricht objecting to the sale would be as legitimate as me objecting to the sale. I don't have any rights to the coins, and he disavows any rights to them.

Re:has there been a trial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229587)

great answer thx

are the appeals all done? (2)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 2 months ago | (#47229243)

If not couldn't they end up 5 years later getting a judge ordering them to return the bitcoins at whatever the going rate is? Does the government routinely sell off shares in companies they seize too?

Re:are the appeals all done? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229311)

This is Silk Road's seized assets - as in, separate from Ross Ulbricht's seized assets. I'm not quite sure who's going to be appealing it and on what grounds, mind elaborating on that?

IIRC, in civil forfeiture there's a period where you can come and claim that a bag of money found in a cannabis grow op was actually just left there by you (an innocent citizen) for keeping.

Given how much time passed since DPR's arrest, I guess this period is over.

Re:are the appeals all done? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47229781)

IIRC, in civil forfeiture there's a period where you can come and claim that a bag of money found in a cannabis grow op was actually just left there by you (an innocent citizen) for keeping.

But these days any significant amount of cash has to be justified or it will simply be seized by the police, and the burden of proof is on you in order to get it back.

So is this the US govt giving Bitcoin legitimacy? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229253)

So are they officially admitting Bitcoin is actually worth something?

Re:So is this the US govt giving Bitcoin legitimac (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 2 months ago | (#47229759)

It's an auction. The great thing about an auction is it sets a data point for market value in the fact that people are paying for something in a competitive manner.

The size of the deposit does set a minimum expectation of the value of a block, although I've made deposits (much smaller ones) on auction items that went for less than the deposit. That's not common, but in the case that it happens the balance of the deposit is just returned to the buyer.

Re:So is this the US govt giving Bitcoin legitimac (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 2 months ago | (#47230143)

I dunno how meaningful it will be as a data point:

- You have a seller who (probably) doesn't give 2 shits about what happens to the value of what they are selling once the sale is complete dumping the things as fast as they can.

- It's a one-off transaction selling the things in bulk, through a process that is unique/doesn't follow the regularly used methods for bitcoin selling.

- It's getting a lot of attention because.

One way or another, whatever they get sold at, this bit of data isn't really too meaningful, except, maybe as just being kind of interesting to nerds.

before the trial? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229263)

and what if they lose? little hard to return them

Re:before the trial? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229531)

To who? Silk Road the site isn't getting a trial. Ulbricht? Why should he get them? He says he didn't run Silk Road.

Auction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229291)

They use the word "auction", but the procedure described isn't what I call an "auction". In a normal auction the auctioneer keeps on raising the price until only one buyer remains, so the person who is prepared to pay the most gets the item while paying only a little bit more than what the person in second place was prepared to pay.

Re:Auction? (4, Informative)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 months ago | (#47229407)

You're thinking of English auctions. There's also Dutch auctions where the price is lowered from the seller's reserve price and then sealed auctions in which everyone submits a single bid.

Due Process (2)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 months ago | (#47229301)

I don't want to get into the "is it money" argument but since this case is still pending [bloomberg.com] isn't it a bit premature to be selling assets of any kind until guilt is proven in a court of law? I guess we've completely trampled on the constitution here especially the fifth amendment.

Re:Due Process (5, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | about 2 months ago | (#47229381)

Civil Asset Forfeiture doesn't require that you're found guilty. The government gets to take your stuff and sell it just to make sure you don't have money to defend yourself with.

Re:Due Process (5, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 months ago | (#47229493)

Well that's the seizure portion of it and the recent Supreme Court ruling, one of the worst in history, [washingtonpost.com] doesn't say anything about the sale of those assets. That decision is so horrible because a lot of prosecutor's budgets are funded by seized assets creating a conflict of interest and violating the 5th and 6th amendments. We've seriously gone to far on the war on drugs and the police state mentality [distractify.com] in this country and it has to stop. If this guy is convicted then the assets obtained illegally should be forfeit, agreed but wait until the fucking trial is at least concluded and guilt or innocence is determined. Defendants also must have the right, as written in the 6th amendment to choose their own counsel and that requires funds to provide an adequate defense. If the assets are seized, then you have no right to chose your counsel creating a no win situation. That's a secondary consideration but as a citizen I'm very concerned that something like this could happen to me or my family and while I'm fighting in court the government is just selling everything off that we've worked our entire lives to acquire and protect. Right now the government has built a case but it's only been seen by a grand jury in the Ulricht case, that doesn't mean a conviction and selling the assets is a violation of his 5th amendment rights.

Re:Due Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229601)

THIS is the real story. Mod up.

Re:Due Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229609)

prosecutor's budgets are funded by seized assets creating a conflict of interest

If the assets are sold whatever the judgement, they don't have any conflit of interest in framing the guy guilty or innocent.

Re:Due Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229727)

Aynd you can thank your Randian messiah Ronny Raygun for that legal feature!

Re:Due Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229757)

You're not allowed to profit from an illegal venture. If your assets from an illegal venture like gambling, drugs, counterfeiting, etc., then why should you be allowed to keep them to defend yourself? Should the government have to exchange counterfeit dollars for real ones so you can defend yourself from counterfeiting claims? And in this case your comments is even dumber. The assets were taken from Silk Road not Ulbricht specifically. Ulbricht's trial will be about whether he ran Silk Road or not. Starting to see the problem, yet?

If you give the bitcoins to Ulbricht to defend himself, by claiming that he didn't run Silk Road, then you're giving assets from one entity to another entity that has no legitimate claim to the assets. What sense does that make?

Or, maybe you're saying that if Ulbricht admits that he ran Silk Road then the assets gained via illegal venture should be given to him to defend himself against the charge that he ran Silk Road.

Right now the government is just auctioning off abandoned property, because no owner of the assets has come forward to make a claim. If you think Ulbricht should get the coins for his defense then you have already decided he's guilty or at least that his defense should be that Silk Road was legit. However, his defense is that he didn't run Silk Road.

Re:Due Process (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 2 months ago | (#47229779)

There's a matter of due process, sure. Go ahead and step forward as the owner of these coins. They won't sell them out from under you until they are done prosecuting you for claiming to have run Silk Road. Right now it's unclaimed property.

Perhaps they want to see who's interested in it. (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47229373)

That pretty much renders moot the Crypto-currency's primary advantage of anonymity.

Could you even pretend surprise when the public purchase of a large block of the coinage placed you on the interesting list with the TLAs?

On the economic side of the equation, wouldn't they keep the price higher if they spread out the block auctions a bit more? That's a lot of coin to dump quickly.... unless taking down the coins value is the intent.

Re:Perhaps they want to see who's interested in it (2)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 2 months ago | (#47229469)

It's kind of adorable that you think they don't already know this kind of thing, given the amount of internal snooping they do already.

Also that you think they couldn't tank the value much more easily through other means, if they cared to.

Or that they actually care much about bitcoin beyond "how can we tax it?" type of questions.

They have a thing that they want to turn into cash. They want to do this as quickly as possible, and they don't want to spend time or money trying to take into account the vagaries of all the different kinds of things that they take in order to get maximum value.

Seriously, asking them to try and deal with the details of getting as much as possible from bitcoin would be like asking them to restore classic cars they seize and then try and sell them at various shows or through private channels to get the maximum return. Sure, they could squeeze a few extra bucks out of it, but who gives a shit?

Re:Perhaps they want to see who's interested in it (2)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 2 months ago | (#47229825)

And sorry, I didn't mean to be condescending there by saying adorable - I was more trying to shit on the snooping the US government does on random, inconsequential shit.

Re:Perhaps they want to see who's interested in it (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47230225)

I am not yet fully onboard with the theory they already know everything.

There is just too much information out there in to be sifted through, so unless you behave in a manner that arouses their interest, you can still fly under the radar.

And I can live with condescending. It's practically the price of admission to speak with a lot of smart people. Just don't ever renege on "adorable" again.

fuck beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229409)

lot of beta activity today...
it is coming soon, resistance is futile

di34 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229505)

Is tmhe ulti8ate

"Worth" $17-18 million (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about 2 months ago | (#47229513)

We'll see...

Re:"Worth" $17-18 million (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about 2 months ago | (#47230201)

Bitcoins will be transferred to winning bidders in the order that each winning bid was received. No bitcoin transfer will be made until the USMS has confirmed receipt of all purchase funds. The winning bidder(s) will be given private instructions related to the transferring of the bitcoins.

You'll note it doesn't provide a deadline for when the bitcoins will be transferred to the winning bidder. Hence, if it takes 60 days to transfer, BTC could be worth 1/10th of its current value.
Would not touch this US Marshall's mess with a 10 foot fuckstick.

They're worth $0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229821)

The one overwhelming advantage of Bitcoin is that it's anonymous, and they want people to register to buy it? Irony at its finest.

Re:They're worth $0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47230087)

what is anonymous about it? you can track every transaction of a bitcoin.

the only anonymous bit coin is one you mined yourself and don't spend.

If Feds sized BCs, spend from backup? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229839)

If the feds "sieze" your bitcoins, but you have a backup copy of your wallet, what's to stop you spending them (ignoring any legal issues)?

Re:If Feds sized BCs, spend from backup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47230177)

Well they avoided this issue by sending the BTC to another address, which is a fairly standard thing to do.

Re:If Feds sized BCs, spend from backup? (2)

carlhaagen (1021273) | about 2 months ago | (#47230241)

The coins aren't contained in the wallet as such, but rather they reside in the blockchain. The wallet holds the private keys that allow you to move coins away from their public address counterpart. Once that is done, it doesn't matter how many backups of that wallet there is, because the coins are already somewhere else - already locked to another private key in the blockchain. Also, his coins have already been "secured" (moved to another address), so there is nothing anyone can do.

Also also, DRP is in custody, without access to the internet, and thusly was never able to do anything.

Re:If Feds sized BCs, spend from backup? (1)

hodet (620484) | about 2 months ago | (#47230295)

The FBI swiped tens of thousands of them in 324 Bitcoin transactions last time. 324 spells FBI on a telephone keypad. Who knew the feds can have a sense of humor.

Mr Thomos Dah Auditing and Accounting Department (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47229849)

Good day,

With warm heart I offer my friendship, and my greetings,and I hope this letter meets you in good time.

It will be surprising for you to receive this proposal from me since you do not know me personally.

However, I am sincerely seeking your confidence in this transaction,which I, propose with my free mind and as a person of integrity.

This should normally not be a requirement, but when you understand the transaction then you will understand why it is important that you live far away from me.

The amount of money involved in this transaction is $17-18 Million in bitcoins which is too much for a man of modest means like myself to handle in my country.

I hereby ask for you to send an application to the the U.S. Marshals Service to get this fund transfered into your bank a/c.

All I need is for you to follow my instructions closely because I am experienced in matters here and i am on ground here to advice you on every step until you receive the money. Please provide a copy of a government-issued ID as well as a $200,000 deposit sent by wire transfer from an American bank.

I also indulge you not to make undo use of the information given to you, I need also to trust that you will not tell people or your bank about this business.
Yours truly,

Mr Thomos Dah

NB:Please contact me via my private email above.

I hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47230315)

The value of Bitcoin plummet because of this.

Cash? (1)

bluehenbear (621193) | about 2 months ago | (#47230349)

So when is the government auctioning off $100 bill or T-Bills?
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