On Tuesday, it was confirmed that the latest Bitcoin auction was swept by New York based exchange SecondMarket, which won 48,000 (worth $16.9 MN) of the 50,000 Bitcoins available (worth $19MN). Venture Capitalist, Timothy Draper, who swept an auction in June, won the remaining 2,000 bitcoins on behalf of his firm, Draper Associates. These two auctions were held by the Marshals Service as a way of releasing the 173,991 Bitcoins associated with Silk Road.
Managing director of SecondMarket, Brendan O’Connor, says as quoted by a CoinDesk article,
When you put a lot of effort into something like this you want to win, you want to be able to bear some fruit and show some results. For all the folks internally that spent a lot of time and effort on this it was a very good conclusion.”
Analysts say the move by SecondMarket underlies a clear optimism felt by the syndicate for the future of Bitcoin. The auction saw a decline in the number of registered bidders, which some argue suggests diminished enthusiasm felt for the cryptocurrency. Others point to the holiday season as a source of distraction for potential bidders, as well as the increased liquidity of Bitcoin as a potential reason for the lower number of participants.
Garrick Hileman, economic historian at the London School of Economics says,
Volumes have picked up, so there are other ways to get larger trades relatively easily… The Bitcoin market has matured.”
Lynzey Donahue, spokeswoman for Marshals Service, says the agency plans to sell the remaining bitcoins seized on Silk Road via auction in the next coming months, although at this time no specific dates have been determined.
Read more here- “At an Auction of Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road SecondMarket Wins Big,” (Sydney Ember, The New York Times)