WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- The government will auction off 30,000 bitcoins, roughly $18 million of the digital currency, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
The bitcoins were seized when the FBI raided the unofficial headquarters of online black market exchange Silk Road. Before being taken down, Silk Road was known as hub for illegal narcotic sales and other criminal activity. As of Thursday, the 30,000 bitcoins were worth just under $18 million, although their exchange rate has repeatedly fluctuated in value since then.
The bitcoins being auctioned are exclusively from wallet files on Silk Road's servers, and are not part of the bitcoins digitally seized from owner Ross William Ulbricht.
The auction will be held through the U.S. Marshal's website on June 27. Investors interested in placing bids must register through the U.S. Marshal's website and wire a $200,000 deposit from a bank within the United States. The bitcoins will be bid on in 10 auction blocks, nine "series A" blocks of 3,000 bitcoins and one containing roughly 2,600.
The influx of bitcoins into the market is expected to devalue the online currency, which has dropped 50 percent in value since December.