Australia to auction seized Bitcoins

Australia will conduct its first ever auction of Bitcoins confiscated by law enforcement authorities and become the second country ever to do so.

The sale’s facilitator, EY, said the tranche of around 24,513 Bitcoins valued at $AU16 million would be auctioned over 48 hours from midnight on June 20, in a statement released overnight.

The auction would make Australia only the second country globally to liquidate Bitcoins seized as proceeds of crime following similar auctions by the US Marhsals Service in 2014 and 2015.

They included coins seized in the prosecution of Silk Road founder Ross William Ulbricht.

EY did not reveal the name of its client selling of the seized currency. However, it may be linked to the seizure of around 24,500 Bitcoins from a Melbourne drug dealer reported in October 2014.

The auction coincides with a spike in the value of the popular digital currency which Bitcoin price index CoinDesk valued at $533.47 at 10.15 am today.

The Bitcoins would be sold in 11 lots comprised of 2000 coins and final lot comprised of 2,518 with bidders able to bid on multiple lots.

EY Transactions Partne Adam Nikitins said he expected most interest in the sale to come from Europe and the US.

“With each lot of Bitcoin valued at more than $AU1m, we are targeting sophisticated investors who can see the value in investigating in a growing digital asset,” Mr Nitikins said in a statement.

Potential bidders have been invited to lodge expressions of interest in the auction by June 7.

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